CARSON, Calif. — As one of the original Soul Train dancers, Eddicia Elijah truly believes she can teach anyone to dance.

"I will teach one person if that was all that's in the class because that's how passionate I am about dancing," Elijah said.

What You Need To Know

  • A stimulus package signed by Gov. Newsom provides $2.1 billion – a four-fold increase over the $500 million currently being distributed

  • The package will provide grants up to $25,000 for small businesses impacted by the pandemic

  • It allocates $50 million of this total for nonprofit cultural institutions

  • The package will also provide $600 in one-time relief to households receiving the California EITC for 2020

In 2004, Elijah returned to her first love of dancing after pursuing careers in real estate and finance. She opened a Detroit-style ballroom dance workshop, Elite Urban Ballroom, in Carson.

On the dance floor, she's known as Mrs. Dee. Most of her classes are filled with seniors looking for a place to socialize and stay active. But since the pandemic forced her to moved classes to Zoom, the business has struggled.

"It's been very challenging. A lot of people have lost interest in doing anything," Elijah said.

Without in-person classes, Elijah has taken a huge financial hit. The three classes a week she'd typically host at a local dance studio have all been canceled, as well as her private lessons and large events.

Now she has no income to pay her two instructors or the nearly $3,000 a month in studio rental fees.

On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new stimulus package providing $2.1 billion in urgent relief to small business owners, a four-fold increase over the $500 million currently being distributed. Small businesses suffering the most significant economic hardship due to COVID-19 can apply for up to $25,000 in grants.

The package also provides $600 in one-time relief to households receiving the California EITC for 2020. The agreement also provides a $600 one-time payment to taxpayers using Individual Tax Identification Numbers, or ITINs, to file taxes. The use of the ITIN precluded them from receiving the $1,200 per person federal payments issued last spring and the more recent $600 federal payments. 

Tuesday's action also provides $600 payments to households with ITINs and income below $75,000. ITIN taxpayers who also qualify for the California EITC would receive a total of $1,200. The payments will be provided to these households shortly after they file their 2020 tax returns.

As cases of the virus decline and more seniors are vaccinated, Elijah said she hopes the small business grant can help her business rebound.

"I want to get back to doing s'omething to uplift people, especially as seniors, and do something that's positive and fun," she said. "Bringing people together and a thing everyone likes to do is dance."