HomeNewsStimulus Checks: Petition for $2,000 Monthly Payments Reaches 3 Million Signatures

Stimulus Checks: Petition for $2,000 Monthly Payments Reaches 3 Million Signatures

by Liz Holland
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A powerful petition has now reached 3 million signatures. The petition calls for $2,000 monthly payments from the government during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

When lockdown hit in March 2020 and businesses were forced to temporarily shut down, there were no clear next steps. Two co-owners of one Denver restaurant were particularly concerned about their business and the livelihood of their employees. A staff of 15 people who depended on their paychecks and tips from customers was now suddenly without a source of income. Stephanie Bonin and Keith Arnold, who co-own “Duo Restaurant” in Denver, were forced to close their doors. They had to temporarily lay off all but three of their employees.

The couple knew the employees they were forced to lay off would receive unemployment benefits. However, they knew it wouldn’t come close to matching the income they needed to support themselves while unable to work. Federal and state aid had yet to be put into action. At the time, the owners knew their business most likely would not be eligible for unemployment insurance.

Restaurant Owners Took Matters Into Their Own Hands

“Their livelihood was on our shoulders,” Bonin said. “That was what was keeping us up at night.“How are we going to make sure that they can work?”

In the midst of the chaos, Bonin started a Change.org petition. The petition is calling for $2,000 monthly aid to every American during the pandemic. 

Nearly two years later, that petition is still drawing in support, as most of America is continuing to be affected by COVID-19. The petition just crossed the 3 million mark, amassing an impressive 3,012,750 signatures at the time of writing. It appears attention towards the petition has picked back up due to the intense surge in hospitalizations and death that the Omicron variant seems to be the source of. As cases climb back up, small businesses are once again starting to close, and many are questioning if their children should be attending in-person learning. 

Due to the omicron variant, Duo Restaurant was once again forced to close temporarily when half of their kitchen staff contracted the virus. The restaurant lost around $30,000 in expected income while they were closed but still paid $9,000 toward their payroll due to mandates. 

Petition Continues to Earn Support

Bonin added an update to the petition description following the original declarations made when it was posted in 2020. The update covers the struggles people of America continue to face, as unemployment rates remain high for low workers. She touched on the fact that many people are still dealing with debts from last year for necessities like rent, utilities, and care for their children. According to Bonin, Congress “needs to learn from this past year” and target checks to those that are still struggling.

“It took nine months for Congress to send a second stimulus check, and just moments to spend it,” the update reads. “Moving forward Congress needs to make recurring checks automatic if certain triggers are met. No more waiting around for our government to send the help we need. Sign to join our movement to get recurring checks to the people.”

Bonin also said, “I think that’s what 3 million people are saying, which is, ‘We just need certainty. We need to have something we can plan on month after month.”

You can sign the petition here.