Reopening Naperville Safely

In this segment of Finding Common Ground, the group discusses reopening Naperville Safely.

Dr. Mimi Cowen, Speaker of the Will County Board, District 11 and Gabriela Trejo, Co-Owner of Paris Bistro talked about how businesses are adapting during this time.

“Most business owners are looking for a way to make sure that their employees and their customers are safe,” says Cowen, “because they know that in the long term the real focus of their business.”

“I told my employees,” says Trejo, “call me the ‘clean, clean, clean girl’ because that’s what I say all the time, ‘clean, clean, clean.’”

Challenges for Businesses

Reopening businesses also comes with challenges, including restrictions on group sizes and customer non-compliance. “I had a customer walk through the restaurant, going to the bathroom, and said, ‘I don’t have a mask. You can call the police,’” says Trejo.

Federal Relief

However, businesses can see some relief through the CARES Act.

“That’s the federal bill that was passed,” says Cowen. “Will County received $121 million to distribute in the county to businesses, to organizations, to non-profits, to local governments to help mitigate some of these financial challenges.”

Business in Will County can go here for more information.

DuPage County received $161 million in funding through the CARES act.

And Trejo has some advice for her fellow business owners. “Don’t close,” she says. “It doesn’t matter if you guys make the minimum, just keep going and keep going and keep going. Because if you close, it’s harder for you to reopen.”

About the Show

Finding Common Ground focuses on important current events and how they impact our diverse population. We are many voices of one community, often with strong opinions on every side of an issue. Here, through courageous conversation in the interest of discovering collaborative solutions, we hope to find out common ground.

All guests and viewers are invited to acknowledge the four agreements to courageous conversations:

  1. Stay Engaged
  2. Speak Your Truth
  3. Experience Discomfort
  4. Expect and Accept Non-Closure
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