Galena businesses worry as more COVID-19 restrictions start Sunday

Published: Oct. 25, 2020 at 5:52 PM CDT
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For tourism towns like Galena, more COVID-19 restrictions could have devastating effects.

Gathering sizes must be limited to ten people starting on Sunday in region one of Illinois. Only six people will be allowed per table at restaurants. This is on top of other restrictions already in place since October 3rd.

In March, Galena Brewing Company was down to ten percent of normal sales. Business picked up during the summer months. Now they fear they may be closing their doors because of more restrictions and colder weather.

“If it is sustained until spring it could well be the end of us. There are no two ways about it, we cannot survive on ten percent of revenue for those months. So it’s really serious,” says Warren Bell, Manager at Galena Brewing.

Galena opened up Main Street for outdoor dining. But with winter ahead, Bell says the future is bleak.

“Not many restaurants are going to be able to survive through that and it’s not only lifestyle, it’s actually livelihood. We have all these employees, we have 22 employees that will lose their jobs and we will lose all our revenue. I just don’t know what will happen to the place because no one will buy a business like this that is in trouble,” says Bell.

Now with region one of Illinois under tighter restrictions, Galena’s future is at the mercy of COVID cases in Galena and across the region.

“Let’s say if the numbers in Rockford are going up, we can’t do anything about that, but if the numbers are going up in Jo Daviess, we can work on that and bring it down so that we have a sense of control. But right now it’s looking like we get painted with a broad brush and it’s difficult to accept that,” says Bell.

For a list of COVID-19 safety precautions in Galena, visit the town’s website here.

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