A Chicago-area hair salon owner turned down a check for $73 from the Paycheck Protection Program, a financial aid package from Congress intended to help small businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Oh, no, I didn’t take it, I refused it. That wouldn’t help me at all for my business,” Lillian Carter Hendrix, owner of Queen Forever hair salon in Tinley Park, Ill., told “America’s Newsroom.”
Being self-employed during the coronavirus pandemic has been “difficult” for Hendrix.
“It’s been quite difficult because you depend on the fact of our referrals or you’re maintaining the clientele that you already have,” she said. “But I just know and I just trust that it’ll get quite better. I just have to have the faith in the business that I do have.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Monday criticized Democratic leaders for getting behind a smaller $908 billion coronavirus relief package after rejecting a $1.8 trillion proposal from President Trump in October.
Sanders’ remarks seemed to clash with the Democratic narrative that Republicans are responsible for stalling coronavirus relief.
CNN host Jake Tapper asked him whether it was a mistake for Democrats to walk away from the White House’s $1.8 trillion bill, which likely would have included $1,200 direct payments to all Americans, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was proposing a $2.2 trillion bill at the time.
Sanders said, “That’s right. … That’s what I’m saying.”
“What we need is a compromise. I know I can’t get everything that I want. But this bill really is not a compromise,” Sanders said of a $908 billion stimulus package that a bipartisan group of senators introduced last week. “It gives the Republicans almost everything that they wanted.”
The bill allocates about $300 billion in funding for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, $240 billion in aid for state and local governments, $180 billion to extend boosted unemployment benefits at $300 per week for four months, and a temporary moratorium on COVID-19 liability lawsuits to allow states enough time to design their own laws. It notably does not include a second stimulus check.
Hendrix said some of her employees are not working with her anymore after the coronavirus shutdown occurred. She was forced to take a job in insurance to keep her dream alive.
“I’m just going to keep trying to do little things to enhance my business. I’m not going to give up on something that I dreamed about having,” she said.
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.
Joshua Q. Nelson is a reporter for FoxNews.com. You can find him on Twitter @joshuaqnelson.