Mount Carmel Leaders React to New Business Restrictions

Several Southern Illinois counties are now facing limitations to their businesses once again after the region saw a sustained positivity rate for Covid-19 over eight percent this weekend.

Posted: Oct 20, 2020 5:33 PM

“Some businesses are still recovering from the spring time when they were shut down,” said Leslie Hipsher, executive director of the Wabash County Chamber of Commerce. “And so, if they have to shut down again — it’s going to be very detrimental to their survival.”


Indoor restaurant and bar seating closed, social gatherings limited to twenty five -- these are just some of the new restrictions Wabash County business owners are facing starting Oct. 22.


That decision was made by state health and government leaders to lower the surge of Coronavirus cases in Region Five.


And Gov. JB Pritzker says there is relief for businesses impacted, but Mount Carmel Mayor Joe Judge says the city hasn’t seen it yet and he plans to personally appeal to the governor, asking for more help.


“They have suffered so much this year and we want to make sure that we have our mom & pop shop restaurants here locally,”Judge said. “We have very few corporate types, so a majority are mom and pop and we want to ensure that they are here for the longevity for the residents of Mount Carmel.”


Another frustration -- the waiting game for business owners.


"And that's kind of a double-edged sword because you want to keep everyone safe, but they still have to run their business,” Hipsher said.


The Illinois Department of Public Health will decide if restrictions should be relaxed, remain in place or be extended.

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