Grass Valley, CA—Friday will be the last day at work for about 140 people in Nevada County. They are losing their jobs, because their employers are losing federal stimulus funding that helped pay their salaries. It's called the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. And the recession may not be over, but the program is.
Mark Hall is a small business owner with a creative idea.
Hall has been building his business ever since. But he's had help. With stimulus dollars from the Federal Government, he was able to hire three employees.
"Their salaries and taxes were paid by the Federal Government. It's been the greatest boost to my small business," Hall said. "It's allowed me to quadruple my production."
But now, that stimulus program is being cut.
"So we get to collect unemployment. Which I don't quite understand. What's the difference?" questions Donna Collins. She is also employed under the program. She works for a thrift store, and qualified for the program because she has a daughter.
"I had my meeting yesterday. Come tomorrow, I'm done," Collins said.
Back at the coop shop, Mark Hall will do what he can to keep filling orders. But his business will slow as he gets used to working alone.
There has been some talk in Congress about extending this stimulus program. Mark Hall is one of those lobbying for the extension. He says he wants to keep his coops all American made but without employees, and without a bank willing to lend him the money to hire any employees, he says he may have to have his coops assembled overseas.