MARSHALL, Ill. (WTHI) - People in Illinois are seeing a new wave of COVID-19 restrictions starting on Friday. Local communities say they’ve felt the impact of restrictions throughout the pandemic.
News 10 spoke with Jennifer Bishop on Friday. She’s the Executive Director for the Marshall Chamber of Commerce. She says this is absolutely disheartening that the state of Illinois has seemingly taken a step back with all of this. However, she says businesses in Marshall are coming together to make this work.
Bishop says she believes Marshall has stepped up to really enforce COVID-19 recommendations to not only make the area safer, but also to ensure that businesses aren’t suffering through this again.
News 10 asked Bishop if businesses she has spoken with are concerned with the financial impact this may cause. She says retailers are not experiencing much more of a “tighter leash” and will continue to move forward. What are truly being hit are local restaurants, but Bishop says the service industry continues to adapt. She says they have expressed new ways to services their customers like curbside pickup and enhanced delivery services.
“They’ve really rose to the occasion and created something a little bit different and I think customers are enjoying it,” Bishop explained, “I think they’re just going to continue with that and go harder with their online presence, social media presence, and encouraging more and more people to think local first.”
Bishop really emphasized the chamber’s “shop local” message they are pushing to the public heading into the holiday season.
“It’s your store and it’s your livelihood. This is your time to shine,” Bishop continued, “Encourage people to shop local. Be on your social media pages and let people know what you have to offer. You have to constantly be reminding people of your hours and days that you are open.”
Bishop says she’s confident that businesses will continue to step up, adapt, and enforce COVID-19 recommendations to help minimize any negative financial impacts during this time.
“We can do this. We can do it together. You have to just keep your head up,” Bishop concluded, “I think everyone has worked together. Things have changed, policies have changed hour by hour, but we are getting through it.”
Bishop says there are still many financial help opportunities, grants, and loans that local businesses can still take advantage of. Find those here: https://www.marshallilchamber.com/