Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.
Illinois reopening will have some QC businesses playing catch up with Iowa
Leisure and hospitality businesses face biggest challenges
Illinois is on track to reopen the state’s economy completely this Friday.
That’s without any unexpected turn of events related to the pandemic.
Governor JB Pritzker put stringent rules in place for his reopen Illinois plan at the outset of the pandemic.
Illinois got more than $8 billion in federal relief money from the American Rescue Plan.
State lawmakers adopted the budget last week indicating the financial position was better than they expected.
The change to stage five of a full reopening gets rid of the capacity limits on businesses like restaurants.
They will be able to serve customers in their dining rooms again without restrictions.
Restaurants spent most of the last 15 months operating only take out and delivery service as well as limited hours to get by.
So many small businesses paid a price these last 15 months.
Check out these numbers from the Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker project out of Harvard University.
It records the changes in small businesses that were open as of May 12 this compared to January of last year.
Statewide in Illinois the number of small businesses that are open is down by 39.5 percent.
They’re almost 13 percent lower in Rock Island County.
Henry County is down 35.2 percent.
Statewide in Iowa, there’s a dropoff of more than 34 percent.
Scott County is off roughly 17 percent from pre-pandemic.
Clinton County down 18.5 percent.
Those numbers seem surprising.
The tracker has some counties in Illinois and Iowa with a drop of more than 30 percent in small businesses.
It’s almost time for Illinois to get back in the game at full speed.
We talked about that on this week’s 4 The Record with Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce President Paul Rumler.
Rumler discussed what he sees as the biggest challenges for the businesses in Illinois to operate like they did before the pandemic, how much those businesses that figured out a way to survive come out with advantages because of it, if he thinks business owners want to go full throttle to get back up to capacity and if the Chamber been able to quantify the impact of the pandemic on the local economy and the impact from the different pandemic restrictions for Iowa and Illinois in the Quad Cities.