SYCAMORE - The Sycamore Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Governor Pritzker last week imploring him to remove or lighten restrictions on small businesses that have been hit hardest by the recent mitigations that were imposed on Oct. 3, according to a news release.
Since the new mitigation measures focus on restaurants and bars, including a ban on indoor seating, capacity limits and earlier closing times among others, the letter emphasizes the need for those businesses to reopen.
“We are particularly concerned with the coming fall and winter months and the impact the colder weather will have on our county’s restaurants and bars forced to conduct business outdoors,” said RoseMarie Treml, executive director of the Sycamore chamber. “Prohibiting our restaurants and bars from offering indoor service will merely drive customers to neighboring counties, which are in a different region or even across State lines, where there are less regulations without truly slowing the spread of COVID-19."
Below is the letter in full:
Dear Governor Pritzker,
The Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, representing over 500 employers from all sectors of the economy and all sizes in DeKalb County, urge you to remove the current mitigations and restrictions you placed on Region 1 on October 3, 2020.
Our mission is to be a strategic advocate for our membership, to strengthen the economic vitality of our area, and to enhance the quality of life in our community.
Our businesses, particularly our restaurants and bars, find themselves in times of unprecedented hardship. Now, with the implemented mitigation measures that came from your office last week, things are dire for them.
The Declaration of Independence declares that everyone has unalienable rights meaning they cannot ever be separated from them. They are self-evident; we just have them. They do not have to be granted by any power. They are simply ours by the good fortune of being human. The document gives three examples of these rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Your mandate denies all three for our families and businesses in our community. We are asking that you remove the current restrictions and instead let the people decide for themselves what measures to take.
Our businesses have taken countless steps to protect their employees, customers, and the public from day one of the COVID-19 pandemic. These new mitigations are arbitrarily targeting our restaurants and bars and will cause even more harm to an already-suffering industry while truly failing to slow the spread of COVID-19 in DeKalb County.
According to the DeKalb County Health Department, they currently cannot directly tie cases directly to our local bars and restaurants. Also, when asked specifically about the positivity rate, we were told that there is no data to show any positive outbreaks in DeKalb County restaurants and bars.
The owners of our businesses are certainly willing to follow local, state, and federal health guidelines as they always have for the safety of their employees and their customers, but they must be able to operate their businesses to survive. These mitigations are denying them of their unalienable rights and are depriving them of the use of their private/personal property. Local, State, and Federal governments cannot deprive citizens of their private property except through due process.
The Sycamore Chamber of Commerce has helped hundreds of businesses grow and expand for over 102 years, and we would be doing them a disservice by not fighting on their behalf today. Our businesses are ready to move forward together and protect the health of our community while saving our local economy.
We stand ready to work with you to ensure that our economic health is able to come back strong after the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us, and we hope you will agree that until the data shows that there are true outbreaks from our county restaurants and bars, we need to remove the current mitigations.
Governor Pritzker, we respectfully ask that you immediately remove the current mitigations and restrictions imposed on Region 1.
RoseMarie M. Treml, executive director
Sally Bruch, President
Sycamore Chamber of Commerce
Visit our website at www.sycamorechamber.com/support-local for details.