EDWARDSVILLE — Officials are encouraging people to visit local restaurants and bars to “make it happen” for Madison County.

“The restaurant industry has been hit hard over the past seven months,” Chairman Kurt Prenzler said. “Our favorite places have been impacted, but kitchens across Madison County are open and we encourage everyone to support a local business.”

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Prenzler said with the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce holding its fifth annual restaurant week, Savor 2020, through Oct. 11, the county felt the need to push the public to get out in support of small business owners.

“The restaurant industry, mostly small, non-chain restaurants, sustained one of the heaviest blows from COVID-19,” he said. “We feel people can support local establishments and remain safe by following CDC guidelines.”

Several communities throughout the county have instituted restaurant weeks as a way to promote dining destinations.

“It’s a great way to encourage diners to get out and try new restaurants,” Prenzler said. “We have so many independent restaurants and hidden gems in the county.”

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To find see what restaurants are participating in Savor 2020, visithttps://www.edglenchamber.com/restaurant-week.html?fbclid=IwAR2EvS3zj5j1t5nV2xlNL0roZitZUCwEji68LqOX4-pP94duLdW0iQeEvRg.

Prenzler said since March chambers of commerce have encouraged support of small businesses. To find other local restaurants/bar and grills throughout the county visit the chamber websites:

Also, Great River and Routes tourism bureau is celebrating Southwestern Illinois’ craft breweries, wineries and distilleries by recently releasing a free mobile phone pass at https://explore.riversandroutes.com/checkout/310/great-rivers-and-routes/1718/great-rivers-and-routes-experiences.The Rivers, Routes and Refreshment Trail mobile pass focuses on the craft experience and highlights eight establishments, seven in Madison County.

County Board member David Michael of Highland, whose family has owned Michael’s Restaurant in Highland for close to 80 years, said he’s seen the hardship first hand that businesses are facing.

“Fast food restaurants will be around for a long time to come, but in six months some of the independent places may not even be open,” Michael said. “I would encourage residents to get out and support their local eateries. Take those extra steps and visit a local restaurant or bar and grill.”

Prenzler said he knows people can “Make it Happen” for Madison County small businesses.

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