Businesses In Jeopardy
Nearly a third of local businesses could face permanent closure due to limited cash reserves of two months or less. That’s according to a survey of 155 businesses and nonprofits done by the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. The group took out a full-page ad in the Daily Herald to share the detailed results. The Chamber is advocating for allowing businesses to reopen responsibly to help avoid permanent closures. In a statement from the Chamber, their President and CEO Kaylin Risvold states, “While we understand we cannot flip a switch and go back to normal overnight, we must give our businesses an opportunity to prepare to return to work.”
Questions on Cannabis Discussion
At last night’s Naperville City Council meeting, the group discussed the process for future discussion on zoning for potential adult-use cannabis dispensaries. Some council members felt a vote on opting in or out of recreational cannabis sales should occur before city staff looks into zoning recommendations, otherwise that question will linger over the entire discussion. Others, along with city staff, felt it would be better to draw up some regulations first, so the public knows there would be a limit on the number of stores and where they would be allowed. Council voted 6-3 to go forward with staff’s suggestion of voting after zoning parameters are set, and to do so using a workshop format as opposed to an open house.
Council also cut nearly $25 million from its 2020 budget by deferring several projects to a later date, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in that list are the Downtown Streetscape Improvement project and the Washington Street Bridge renovation. Downtown merchants have contacted the city saying they don’t want streetscape work done this year out of fears it would drive away business when they’re allowed to reopen. City Manager Doug Krieger said the Washington Street Bridge would now most likely be redone in 2022 or 2023.
Local COVID-19 Numbers
Naperville has reported a total of 326 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Edward Hospital is treating 43 patients with confirmed cases, and reports they’ve had two deaths from COVID-19 within the last 24 hours. Edward has reported a total of 31 deaths from the virus, and has discharged 227 patients following treatment for COVID-19.
Remembering Diane Ramonas
Today we remember Diane Ramonas, a valued staff member of Loaves and Fishes Community Services. Diane worked for the food pantry for more than five years, most recently as their Community Relations Manager. She died April 30 following a two-year battle with metastatic breast cancer and recent complications from COVID-19. Sadly, her husband Dalis, himself an advocate for Loaves & Fishes, died on March 28; he too had COVID-19.
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