EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a letter from RiverBend Growth Association President John Keller to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
On behalf of the 650-member organizations and businesses of the RiverBend Growth Association, I write this letter to implore you to seek a better way to measure the positivity rate that has placed Region 4 back into resurgence mitigation. These efforts are affecting the local Riverbend economy, forcing the closure and/or severely limiting the capacities of our restaurant, bars and entertainment industries. Many owners, employees, and families are being unfairly placed in financial jeopardy.
• Why are bars, restaurants and our entertainment industry being looked at with scrutiny, when the contact tracing does not point to these specific industries as a source of the problem?
• Why are those incarcerated or living in nursing homes and assisted care facilities included in the totals when they are confined to their facilities and not a part of the community spread?
• Why are the daily hospital admissions, due to COVID-19, not factored into your decision to allow these businesses to operate when that was such a focus back in March and April?
The RiverBend Growth Association and its members ask that you take these questions into account as we continue to try and move further in the right direction. By looking at the above, and not just restaurants, bars and the entertainment industry, we can help create a better sense of normalcy for our local businesses who are trying to plan for employee scheduling and inventory ordering.
We ask that you give these questions your consideration as you weigh your decision, on Sept. 16, to remove the current restrictions placed on our area.
In closing, it is extremely unfair to all of our local businesses that have been doing their part to serve their customers in a safe and comfortable environment to endure the economic hardship that this resurgence mitigation has placed them in when other businesses are allowed to operate freely. The RiverBend Growth Association will continue to promote Safely Shopping Local in the Riverbend.
John J. Keller
President, RiverBend Growth Association