WHEATON, M.D. – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) has selected Chris Pyon, a second-generation Korean-American and co-owner of Mobydick Sushi in Wheaton, to be his virtual guest to President Joe Biden’s Joint Address to Congress this Wednesday and named him this week’s 8th District Local Hero. Mr. Pyon was able to keep his family business open during the pandemic with help from congressional federal aid packages like the American Rescue Plan. Mr. Pyon received two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, including a first-wave loan in the spring of last year and a second-wave loan last month, which helped him pay staff and rent. The American Rescue Plan included $7.25 billion in additional funding for PPP, which was initially established when Congress passed the CARES Act one year ago.
The Joint Address, which is President Biden’s first speech to a Joint Session of Congress, marks 100 days into the President’s first term. In the past, Congressman Raskin has invited constituents to join him in person as guests to such speeches. While COVID-19 safety protocols mean this year’s in-person attendance will be limited, Rep. Raskin invited Mr. Pyon as his virtual guest to honor small business owners across the 8th District and uplift their stories of resilience during the pandemic.
“We are 100 days into our work with the new Administration, and the American Rescue Plan is delivering shots in arms, money in pockets, and financial aid to small businesses like Mobydick Sushi,” said Rep. Raskin. “Small business owners like Chris Pyon are the true heroes of this national economic recovery. I am proud to have him as my virtual guest to the Presidential Address and to name him our 8th District Local Hero of the week.”
“I’m very thankful that my business and I were able to receive two waves of the PPP loan which helped us stay afloat,” said Mr. Pyon, who will watch the President’s address from his restaurant on Wednesday night. “I’m honored to be Rep. Raskin’s virtual guest for the Joint Address and am really looking forward it.”
Mr. Pyon’s family has owned the business since 1998 and has been featured in local magazines like the Washingtonian and national newspapers like the Washington Post. Mobydick Sushi is a staple for sushi in the Wheaton, Kensington, and Silver Spring region and continues to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. Mr. Pyon graduated from the University of Maryland in 2012 and has also helped guide the business through challenging times during Wheaton's redevelopment project. Mr. Pyon is one of the small business representatives on the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee and continues to serve the small business community in Wheaton.
THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN: HELP IS HERE
100 Days into Congress’s work with President Biden, the American Rescue Plan is delivering shots in arms, money in pockets, children in schools and people in jobs.
SHOTS IN ARMS
- The United States has administered more than 215 million vaccine doses and counting. More than 85 million Americans are fully vaccinated. Half of the adults in the U.S. have received at least one dose. Maryland has administered more than 4.2 million vaccine doses and counting. More than 1.7 million Marylanders are fully vaccinated.
- The American Rescue Plan also recently sent $6 billion to local Community Health Centers to help them distribute vaccines. Maryland has received $68.8 million of this funding to support 17 health centers.
MONEY IN POCKETS
- Roughly 159 million stimulus payments have been disbursed to hardworking Americans, with most eligible families receiving $1,400 per family member.
- Over 18 million Americans are able to pay their bills due to unemployment benefits that were extended, including the extra $300 per week.
CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS
- The American Rescue Plan invested $130 billion to help schools reopen safely, stay open safely and make up for lost learning time. Carroll County Public Schools received $18.8 million, Frederick County Public Schools received $41 million, and Montgomery County Public Schools received $259.8 million.
- The American Rescue Plan also recently sent $39 billion to states to help keep childcare providers on the job and lower costs for working families. Maryland received $501.9 million of this funding.
PEOPLE IN JOBS
- The economy created nearly 1 million jobs in March. In fact, “Job growth boomed in March at the fastest pace since last summer, as stronger economic growth and an aggressive vaccination effort contributed to a surge in hospitality and construction jobs,” according to CNBC.