New restrictions took effect on Wednesday for bars and restaurants in Illinois.
Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced the changes Sunday in response to the growning number of cases of the Coronavirus in the state.
The rule will only allow takeout and outdoor dining for bars and restaurants.
The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the Governor’s office asking him to make an exception for the Quad Cities.
The letter says the chamber’s seen no evidence that indoor dining contributes to more cases of the virus. They also started a petition drive to let restaurants offer indoor dining.
Laurie McNamee owns VIP’s Corner Bar & Grill in Downtown Moline and says her businesses is already feeling the effects of the new restaurant restrictions.
“We’ve had to cut staff, cut hours, cut days being open, open up later in the day,” said McNamee.
She fears it will get worse in winter when dining options will be limited even more.
“My biggest fear is closing down after 13 years being on business on my own I’m been in this industry for 25 years,” said McNamee.
A petition started by the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce will try to challenge the Illinois governor, the organization also sent a letter to J.B. Pritzker hoping to change his mind.
“We’re advocating on our collective restaurant and businesses we have encouraging others to join us and communicating to the Governor that way he can see the impact here in the Quad City area,” said Paul Rumler, QC Chamber President & CEO. “Talking about joining other chambers across the state in making sure our voices are heard to find a compromised.”
McNamee is optimistic the chamber’s plan will help.
“I hope that this petition works in our favor and quickly and not too long because most small businesses aren’t going to make it past a couple of weeks,” said McNamee. “We’re just going to go day by day and see how this works out for us and hope it doesn’t last too long hope that we can get back open and start bringing the revenue we need to have to stay open.”
The new rules will last for at least two weeks.