By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver restaurant owner hasn’t given up hope on her eight month-long mission to get economic relief to Americans. Stephanie Bonin started a change.org petition, that is approaching two million signatures, to urge congressional leaders to extend payments during the pandemic.

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“The moment that we’re in right now somehow to me feels even more uphill than it did in March and April. I think there’s a lot of exhaustion and fatigue even around hope,” Bonin told CBS4 on Tuesday. “The scale of this pandemic has only grown, and yet, the scale of our relief has only shrunk.”

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She’s part of the ownership group of the Denver restaurant Duo. She’s seen staff layoffs, reopening, and, again, tight restrictions.

“This past weekend was the slowest weekend we’ve had in our entire 15 years of being open,” she said.

It’s part of the reason she’s continued her crusade to get economic relief to people who need it.

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“It allows for people to do what they normally do, which is plan how they’re going to live their life. Whether that’s paying rent or paying for food,” she said.

On Tuesday, discussions seemed to percolate around the United States Capitol. At the same time Colorado lawmakers were working on millions of dollars of relief packages. Even divvied up to small businesses, Bonin knows some relief will be welcome.

“Everything helps, it’s not an either-or situation. One thousand seven hundred dollars to these small businesses is not going to necessarily save them, but in combination with other things and crossing our fingers that our federal delegation gets their act together and is able to pass on support, all of these things help,” she said.

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While her petition has slowed since it’s viral spring, she’s not giving up hope that it can bring about the change many people need right now.

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“We have fewer and fewer people in our community that can afford their basic needs that can afford to Christmas shop this year. I have to believe if we continue to push and say this is the change we need our decision makers will listen,” Bonin said.

Jeff Todd