Matt Prescott
Matt Prescott

“Mitigations” has become a common term that no one likes to hear. Even more so if you are in the hospitality business.

While I do not believe that the mitigations are warranted, we have chosen to follow the requests of the governor. Over the past two months, we have had more than 50,000 people come through our doors for meals. Not one single outbreak has occurred.

Have we had a positive employee? Yes. Has that employee transmitted the virus to another employee. Not that we have seen.

I’m pretty sure, with that amount of people at some point, we had a guest that could transmit it in the restaurants, as well.

We are very stringent on our policies, as most businesses are today.

I would ask you why we don’t have hundreds of cases every week if it is bars and restaurants. I know many places that have more than that at times.

The numbers and logic just do not add up. We have chosen to adhere to the governor’s request and the reasons for that were simple.

1. What is best for our team? Just because we are open doesn’t mean people will come in the door. That would lead to staff making no money and being exposed at the same time.

2. What do our guests think? We chose to take the side of caution. We felt it was a no-win situation. If we closed, we would be criticized, if we opened, we would be, as well. It could have went either way. When the other two were clear, it was easy.

3. Because the government from the federal level down to the local levels have been so supportive of us through these times, we felt it was right that we try to adhere to their requests. If this goes on for an extended time, that may change.

With that said, through this time, I will personally choose to patronize those that stayed open where I feel safe.

If I don’t feel safe, I will simply go elsewhere. Please respect that each and every individual business owner is making their own decisions for their own reasons.

For some, it may be the loss of their life’s work. For others, they need it for their mental well-being. Some bar owners just don’t want to be told what to do. They need to care for a loved one or pay rent.

For any reason that they have made that choice, please have the decency and respect for that. You can choose to do business with who you want where you feel safe.

I will close with this. If you truly care about the small businesses in your neighborhood, then please do your best to take your OWN precautions so we all can get back to normal business sooner. Just making some small choices can help us all.

• Matt Prescott owns Candlelight Inn, Palmyra Pub and Eatery, Corner Tap, Brinks, Sauk Valley Events.

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