GURNEE, Ill. – As small businesses grapple with changes in operation due to the coronavirus outbreak, state Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, is encouraging residents to shop locally.

“The economic downturn caused by COVID-19 is taking a particularly hard toll on our small businesses. Unlike national chains, local businesses often operate on much tighter budgets that can make it difficult for them to weather unforeseen financial hardships,” Mason said. “Even though you may not be able to visit your favorite stores in person, there are plenty of safe ways to continue supporting them. Many restaurants have adopted curbside pickup or no-contact delivery, and many non-essential businesses have the option to purchase a gift card online. All of these methods of service are in compliance with social distancing guidelines and are great ways to continue spending money at places you enjoy.”

On March 16, Gov. J.B. Pritzker implemented a ban on on-site consumption at all bars and restaurants in Illinois. A subsequent stay-at-home order was announced by the governor on March 20, requiring all non-essential businesses to close until April 7. Both measures were put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. Small businesses in need of financial assistance due to the coronavirus outbreak may apply for low-interest emergency assistance loans with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity at www.Illinois.Gov/DCEO.

“It’s also important to keep in mind that, for some businesses, this may be employees’ first experience providing takeout or delivery service,” said Mason. “Remember to be patient and understanding as service industry workers adjust to these new circumstances, and don’t forget to take extra precaution when coming into contact with them. These individuals are on the front lines of this pandemic, and we owe it to them to help keep them safe by making sure we’re physically healthy and practicing good hygiene before interacting with them.”

Rep. Joyce MasonRep. Joyce Mason

61st District

Visit Rep. Joyce Mason’s website

Springfield Office:
247-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8151
District Office:
36100 Brookside Dr.
Suites LL 60
Gurnee, IL 60031
(847) 485-9986