In a press release yesterday, the Illinois Restaurant Association along with 1500 members pleaded with Governor Pritzker to reopen indoor dining in our state.

The Illinois Restaurant Association's "Open Indoor Dining, Save Illinois Restaurants!" campaign is up and running, and asking you to sign an online petition that will be forwarded on to the governor's office and to state health officials. Pretty much anyone who has anything to do with keeping Illinois restaurants closed to indoor dining will be hearing from them.

The Illinois Restaurant Association points out some hard truths in their press release, like the fact that Illinois' eating and drinking places lost 31,000 jobs in November alone, the most of any state in the country. Illinois, since October of last year, has shut down indoor dining for over 75 days. That's longer than any other state, which isn't saying much because we're one of only 3 states with full statewide shutdowns of indoor dining.

You don't have to look far to see the pain right here in the Rockford area. Take a second and talk to pretty much any restaurant owner here in town and you'll hear the same thing from many of them. They don't know how much longer they'll be able to hold out before having to shut their doors forever. Carryout and delivery can only cover them so much. The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is doing a lot to try to help restaurants here in the Rockford area, but they could use your help, too. Click here for more information on the RACVB's "To-Go Rockford Region Restaurant Week."

Here are a few stats compiled by the National Restaurant Association and the Bureau of Labor Statistics on how severe this crisis is for the restaurant/hospitality business:

  • Illinois restaurants were the first to be shut down during mitigations and will be the last to even partially reopen.
  • 1 in 5 hospitality jobs in Illinois were lost between February and November 2020, representing 98,700 workers or 21% of the state’s industry.
  • It is estimated that 5,000 or more restaurants will close permanently in Illinois – eliminating 120,000+ jobs.

 

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