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Business owners, workers stay afloat due to Paycheck Protection Program

HOUSTON – Working at a high-end specialty coffee shop, like Cavo Coffee in the West University area, you wouldn’t think there’d be much to worry about.

But, when the coronavirus started to shut down the economy in March, employees of Cavo, like Bo Liles, a barista with a wife and small child, Bo was frightened.

Many people in that industry were quickly losing their jobs.

“There was a lot of uncertainty. Can we stay open? Can we survive this shutdown? For me and my family it was important we keep going,” Bo said.

For Cavo’s owner, there was even more at stake, the fear of losing a business he loves and had spent years building from nothing, not to mention having to lay off all of his employees at the worst time economically in years.

“When we were forced to close down because of the pandemic, the number one thing I was afraid of was, of course, going out of business,” Michael Caplan said.

To stay alive, business-wise that is, Michael applied for the Paycheck Protection Program. A federal program that would pay Michael’s entire staff for up to two and a half months, allowing Bo and the rest of the staff to keep working at the job they love.

“Just to be safe to continue you working in the industry I love, to continue doing what I love, has been awesome,” Bo said.

And now there is good news for Americans both working and not working. Lawmakers in Washington are now considering a second stimulus program.

The HEROES Act, larger than the original stimulus package, this program would give more money to families. If passed it would give every household member, including children a total of $1,200. For a family of four earning less than $150,000 a year, the gift would be $4,800.

Federal help benefits those like Bo, who just want to keep on working.