Residents of This City Will Get $500 Stimulus Checks

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  • Some residents and business owners in Atlantic City, New Jersey, have $500 stimulus checks coming their way.
  • Any stimulus aid that's dished out in the near term will have to come at the state or local level, as lawmakers haven't approved a federal stimulus payment.

Talk about a financial lifeline.

Last March, lawmakers approved a third round of stimulus checks worth up to $1,400 apiece. But since then, there hasn't been any stimulus aid at the federal level. And that's making many Americans antsy.

While it's true the economy is in better shape right now than it was earlier on in the pandemic, a lot of people still haven't recovered financially from job or income loss. These days, Americans have a new and unwelcome challenge to deal with -- inflation.

With living costs soaring, many households are desperate for a windfall to stay on top of their expenses. This especially applies to those who live paycheck to paycheck without any money in savings to fall back on.

But while there are no plans in the works to send out stimulus funds to the entire country, some localities are taking stimulus payments into their own hands. In fact, residents and business owners in one New Jersey city are about to see their bank account balances grow by $500.

Targeted local aid

Residents and business owners in Atlantic City, New Jersey may soon be the grateful recipients of $500 stimulus checks. That money is coming from a pool of funds the city received as part of the American Rescue Plan, the massive stimulus package that passed back in March and allowed for the aforementioned $1,400 payments.

Those who can show they have suffered economically during the pandemic will be able to receive stimulus funds from the city. They'll need to apply over the next few weeks and be ready to show proof of how their finances were impacted.

Residents of Atlantic City can fulfill this requirement by showing their income declined from a previous level. Or, they may be able to qualify by showing proof of stagnant wages combined with rising living costs.

Meanwhile, business owners can point to decreased revenue as a basis for receiving a stimulus payment. They can also point to the additional costs they've incurred due to the pandemic specifically, like having to invest in barriers for cashiers or sanitizing supplies.

It's conceivable a large number of Atlantic City residents will end up being eligible for a $500 payday under this new stimulus program. It's estimated that 37% of the city's residents -- about 38,000 people in total -- already live below the poverty line.

It's also fair to assume many local business owners will qualify for those payments. Atlantic City thrives on tourism, but foot traffic to its casinos declined due to the pandemic. And with fewer visitors in town, the city's businesses may be starved for revenue.

Will more cities give out stimulus funds?

Cities that have the money at their disposal may consider going a similar route to Atlantic City -- especially those where a large chunk of the population lives in poverty. While that would still leave many Americans who need a stimulus boost without a windfall, at a time when inflation is rampant, targeted local aid is better than no aid at all.

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