OLNEY, Ill. (WTHI) - When the pandemic began businesses closed down. That shutdown was difficult for restaurants like Hovey's diner.
Owner Stacey Dunlap explains, "It was devastating to our business. We literally, we had to lay off a lot of our staff. The few that we were able to keep on we had to decrease their hours. Our customers were upset because they couldn't come in. We have a lot of people that this was their social interaction. It was financially, it was devastating financially."
During the shutdown, Hovey's only saw about 20% of its normal sales. Since then the business has been recovering. With another shutdown being announced Dunlap had a tough decision to make.
Dunlap says, "We won't survive if we do it again."
That feeling is being felt by many around Olney. Locally owned restaurants like Joe's Pizza and HV's Food and Spirits have announced they will stay open. Leaving mostly corporate-owned businesses following the mandate.
Dunlap says her business only stayed afloat thanks to help from a local bank and the paycheck protection program. The paycheck protection program closed at the beginning of August. Leaving Dunlap's business and businesses like hers with limited options.
Dunlap says, "I mean this virus is serious and all the restaurant owners are taking it very seriously. But at the same time, we're just beside ourselves with everything honestly."