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GODFREY - Jeff Carver, owner of Carver's BBQ, spent 22 years building an extremely successful business at 2716 Grovelin St. in Godfrey. However, 2020 was not easy with the COVID-19 Pandemic, as he lost much of his catering and sit-down business because of the statewide COVID-19 regulations.

The Village of Godfrey Stimulus Voucher program was “a lifesaver,” he said recently. Mayor Mike McCormick’s innovative program has helped not only businesses but village residents during the difficult economic times of the pandemic, Carver said.

“The voucher program has given me a cushion I wouldn’t have now without it,” he said. “Mike McCormick is a great man. I met Mike over 20 years ago when I started this business. When I opened the business he took me under his wing and helped teach me the ins and outs of handling employees and what to expect in business. It is nice to still have a friend and someone who has watched me grow from scratch to talk to; Mike has been great for the businesses of Godfrey. The Village of Godfrey-Riverbender.com Stimulus Voucher Program, I wonder if some of the small businesses would have made it through.”

McCormick owned an Imo's Restaurant in Godfrey for several years and Carver said he loved picking Mike's thoughts on what worked and didn't work in the restaurant business.

Carver said his specialty is barbecue chicken, barbecue pork ribs, briskets and beef. Jeff personally selects and cuts his own meat at Carvers BBQ with his extensive knowledge and talent. He added that everything is fresh, including often-requested salads.

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Jeff said losing much of his catering business and sit-down business has been devastating, but he was so thankful for carry-out, what catering has remained and the other parts of his business. He said his employees are wonderful and have stuck with him through thick in and thin in COVID-19.

Jeff Carver said as he headed into the Christmas season he had a lot to be thankful for and again he emphasized how much his relationship with Mike McCormick and the stimulus voucher program meant to his success at this stage. Carver said what a lot of other businesses are saying, he hopes the pandemic will fade and it will be a successful year for business.

Anyone who wants to call in an order at Carver’s can contact (618) 467-9999.

Carver’s BBQ has an Order Online button at https://carversbbq.com/

Half-Price vouchers are still available for purchase at https://deals.riverbender.com/

The Godfrey Voucher Program has enabled shoppers the ability to purchase half-price vouchers to many restaurants and retail stores and the dollars go directly back into businesses. Funding for the program was made possible through allocations from the Godfrey Business District, established in 2011. Within the business district, retailers collected an additional 1 percent sales tax. The additional sales tax is used to fund economic development initiatives within the business district.

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