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HOW MUCH DID STIMULUS CHECKS REALLY HELP? Rochester residents talk financial frustrations

People on the SkyWalk in downtown Rochester

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Those making under $75,000 a year automatically qualified for the recent second stimulus check from the federal government.

Some are still waiting but even for those who are $600 richer, many say their financial struggles are far from over.

"We need to provide more immediate relief for working families and businesses now," President-elect Joe Biden said. "Now!"

"None of us are rich," said Rochester resident Brett Krause. "We're poor."

The stimulus check of $600 was a relief to many.

"It goes towards rent and pays about half of it," said resident Taylor McNeely, who has been living in the Med City for two years.

Riding around Rochester Friday, we found out many residents have indeed received stimulus checks, but a larger amount would be helpful.

"You get behind a lot. The $600 was nice. It helped with some things but not with everything," said Mayo employee and Rochester resident Latoya White.

"In my case, I'm saving it this time," Krause said. "It needed to be way more."

"I'd like to hope $2,000 is coming our way in a short amount of time," McNeely said.

The pandemic related shutdowns continue to batter Rochester's economy.

"It really hurts the whole city with our restaurants and businesses going out," Krause said.

With vaccines now being distributed, an end to the pandemic is on the horizon. Until then, some are finding other ways to survive.

"Just baked goods to sell people. I do have a business I run with my family called D1 Pop Up Pub," White said. "Little things here and there like helping friends babysit and anything I can to make ends meet."

Some are trying to find the positives.

"Spending more time with family. That's the main positive in my book," White said.

Most can recall better days they hope will return soon.

"I can see the problems," Krause said. "I'm just hoping to be optimistic."

This week Turbo Tax and H & R Block experienced a snag when sending stimulus checks to customers on the Monday. Many were sent to the wrong account, but both companies are working to fix it and many customers received their checks Friday.

If you are eligible for the stimulus payment but do not receive it by Jan. 15, you can claim a special rebate on your 2020 taxes when filing this year.

Alex Tejada

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