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Federal economic package a bridge between containing coronavirus and rescuing the economy

Paul Isely photo

In response to the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Senate passed a mammoth $2.2 trillion economic rescue package aiding businesses, workers and health care systems. The measure is set for House passage on Friday and President Donald Trump's immediate signature.

Americans filed a record 3.3 million new weekly unemployment claims. The federal economic rescue package expands unemployment benefits.

“The types of wages we have here in West Michigan, a large number of people are going to be able to get a lot of benefit from that, and then they’ll get the follow up kick, probably closer to May, of the actual cash check.”

$1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year and $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child.

Paul Isely is associate dean in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

“The real question is how well does it bridge the gap that’s being created by the virus? So, the economic gap. That’s really going to depend on how long it takes to get the virus under control. This package really is designed for, we sort of get it under control in April. We sort of get things cleaned up in May and by June we get a good chunk of our economy back. And if that happens, this is a package that will help with all of that. The critical piece to us right now is the number of small businesses that will not exist in two months if they don’t get aid. There is a lot of aid in this package and many of them will be able to take advantage of it, some of them won’t.”

If the virus is contained through social distancing, and perhaps development of new medical treatments, Isely says that will limit the depth of an unavoidable recession.

I’m Patrick Center

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.