Additional shutdowns could mean more trouble for businesses

Outdoor seating has allowed for restaurants to remain open, but with colder weather options are limited

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Outdoor seating has allowed for restaurants to remain open, but with colder weather options are limited

With COVID cases increasing rapidly, Governor J.B. Pritzker closed indoor dining throughout Illinois starting on Nov. 4. This pandemic has already put anywhere from 5,000 to 21,700 food service businesses out of business permanently. After the first close down began in the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of businesses are not sure if they can survive another shutdown. According to the Illinois Restaurant Association, 20% of food establishments are expected to permanently close because of COVID-19. They also estimate that 120,000 jobs could be permanently gone.

According to Illinois Policy, as mentioned in the article, a family who owns a couple Irish pubs in the Chicago area is frustrated that the restaurant industry are the ones that have to close.

Despite mitigation efforts including restaurants having to follow social distancing protocols and follow more sanitary procedures so another shutdown wouldn’t happen, but with rising case numbers, another shutdown did.

“I don’t think it was the right move to put more restrictions on restaurants because restaurants place tables farther away to maintain social distancing protocols but other places are not closing, restaurants aren’t the only thing spreading the virus,” junior Parneet Kaur said.

Small and big businesses alike are having a very tough time with these restrictions. But there are distinctive differences between small and big businesses.

“Small businesses don’t have much resources or workers to work with in the first place, and if they close, they close,” senior Anna Mercado said. “At least with bigger businesses, they have more time before they permanently close and usually have more stores to run.”

Small businesses generally do not have as much money as big businesses since most are just starting off. We have to make sure to keep buying from these businesses to keep them afloat.

“Small businesses will have it worse since they don’t have many or any other branches, they could possibly only have one local restaurant, etc. as their source of income,” Kaur said.

The safest option for supporting these businesses is getting take out and delivery. Also spread the word to others you may know.

“Your small business is going to run out of cash relatively quickly as they try and pay their bills, their rent, because they are not getting the revenue they need. Whereas your larger corporations are going to have a little more cash on hand but eventually that will run out as well,” business teacher Tom Mroz said. “We are actually starting to see that in some of these larger restaurant chains and some of the high end restaurant chains as well not just the small businesses are suffering.”

During this stressful time, businesses are having a hard time keeping up with their bills. 

“Businesses are losing a lot of revenue, and it’s leading to lower ratings overall for the restaurants because of the overwhelming reliance on take out ordering, leading to stressed out and overworked workers underperforming,” Mercado said. 

Many people are mad about these restaurant restrictions and want things to get back to normal by lifting restrictions and not having to wear a mask, but COVID numbers have to be better for us to do that.

“Reduce mixing of these small groups of people in these larger settings that includes restaurants and bars, venues for entertainment, movie theaters and so forth so we can help reduce the spread and the possible death toll that’s occurring,” Mroz said.