JB Pritzker, the governor of Illinois, has threatened to issue state-at-home order as a last resort amid the rising number of coronavirus cases across the state and the nation. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) also advised the state residents to stay at home as much as possible. The Pritzker administration issued stay-at-home recommendations on Wednesday.
Lori Lightfoot, the mayor of Chicago, issued a stay-at-home advisory on Thursday. She urged Chicagoans to stay at home amid the rising COVID positive cases. The bars and restaurants in Illinois are insisting that they are the scapegoats in the pandemic. It is hard for them to decide who is responsible for their mishandling.
It is an impossible situation for bars, restaurants, and other small businesses. They have to support their workers, pay rents, and support their families. Their anger, despair, and outrage is totally justified. However, Lightfoot, Pritzker, and other officials are not responsible for it. Their job is to ensure public safety.
In a national or global crisis, the federal government is responsible for finding a solution. However, the federal government is unable to provide an alternative to the bars, restaurants, and other small businesses. It has failed to slow the spread of the virus and deal with economic and social fallout. Bog businesses, big banks, and Wall Street got much support from the federal government to stay afloat. The major corporations received trillions of dollars under the CARES Act.
On the other hand, the small businesses received pennies under the Paycheck Protection Program. The Trump Administration Republicans in Congress told small businesses, “You are on your own, reopen now, sink or swim, figure it out.” There is a need for another COVID relief bill intended to support small businesses. The lost revenues of the bars and restaurants should be replaced with grant money.