Local Congressman hopeful stimulus package will pass, wants to include help for restaurants

AKRON, Ohio (WJW)– U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, Democrat from Ohio’s 13th District, remained optimistic Friday that another COVID-19 stimulus package will be passed in the next few weeks.

“I’m hopeful,” Ryan told FOX 8 News on Friday. “There are many, many people that are suffering financially and need the help now.”

He said the new package will include extension of unemployment benefits, as well as $1,200 checks for individuals.

“It will also offer local government support, so we are not laying off police, firefighters and teachers,” Ryan said. “It’s  just smaller than it was five months ago and hopefully, we can get some compromise.”

Ryan said he will also be pushing to get more relief for restaurant owners who have been hardest hit  during the coronavirus crisis.

“The smaller restaurants are down 30 to 40 percent,” Ryan said “This would create a pot of money of about $120 billion for them to be able to get and it would be offered to the small, mom-and-pop restaurants first. I can’t see moving forward with a package not including these small family restaurants. They need help more than anybody.”

Several local restaurant owners said the financial help is greatly needed.

“Just to catch up on some of our bills,” said Johnny Tomasulo, owner of Johnny’s Diner in Hudson. “Obviously, we are struggling to pay our bills, but we don’t want to see any more casualties in the restaurant business. Just talked to a friend of mine and was told another restaurant closed in Akron, it hurts.”

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