FAIRFIELD, N.J. - Paul Lebo, the owner of Eye to Eye Events, an entertainment company in Fairfield, New Jersey, is one of the millions of Americans on unemployment who are struggling to survive during the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
"I don't know what I'm going to do with $231 a week," he said.
In late April, Lebo began collecting $231 from the state plus the $600 per week thanks to the Cares Act, which passed in March. But that extra $600 benefit is coming to an end unless the federal government extends it.
"Having it taken away—it's like I got punched in the face again," Lebo said.
The majority of his business is weddings. His last event was in late February. He has had to reschedule over 150 weddings, costing him tens of thousands of dollars.
The event planner took out a small business loan to cover his business expenses. He said he has to start paying it back soon, on top of paying a mortgage, a car, and other expenses.
"If the $600 from the federal aid is not recertified to everyone or certain industries, this is something else I have to figure out," Lebo said. "Think of a Plan B and see what other hurdle I have to jump through now."