BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the number of new coronavirus cases continues to climb in Maryland, state leaders have been urging the President to sign the stimulus bill which he finally did on Sunday night — after previously indicating his unwillingness to do so.

The sentiment we’ve been hearing is that while this bill isn’t perfect, something is better than nothing.

“I’m really not expecting a lot,” Chanah Hayes, co-owner of Charlotte Elliott, a long-standing family-owned business in Hampden. “Mom-and-pop stores — I don’t think we’re really on the radar.”

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Hayes said she doesn’t feel as if she benefited from the initial paycheck protection program and is hopeful that the anticipated government stimulus checks will enable people to support her antique store and other small businesses.

“So I just hope that people get money you can spend it here,” Hayes said.

Until recently, President Donald Trump refused to sign the $900 billion stimulus bill and was demanding higher individual stimulus checks. The bill passed through Congress in a bipartisan vote after lengthy negotiations.

Over the weekend, Gov. Larry Hogan implored the President to take action, as unemployment benefits would expire for millions of Americans.

Hogan appeared on ABC’s This Week and said it had to get done.

“Let’s sign this bill now so we can start getting our unemployment benefits out right away and then quickly pass another bill,” Hogan said.

On Sunday, President Trump finally relented and agreed to sign the bill.

As it stands, it will give people $600 dollars and expand unemployment benefits.

As Maryland sees more than 1,700 new coronavirus cases, more people hospitalized and a death toll that continues to rise.

COVID-19 In Maryland: Over 1.7K New Cases Reported, 31 More Deaths

Many people like Alex Jackson said a stimulus bill is more important now than it ever was.

“It’s very important that we all start at least getting back on our feet before the worst starts to happen so I’m hoping for the best,” Jackson said.

And another key number to look at is the number of Marylanders who have been vaccinated, which is now at 19,000. City and county officials say more and more people who fall into the phase 1 category will be vaccinated as the weeks go on.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachel Menitoff