EDWARDSVILLE – In response to new mitigation efforts released by the governor’s office surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in the Metro East region, State Sens. Christopher Belt, D-Centreville, Rachelle Crowe, D-Glen Carbon, and State Reps. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, and LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, issued the following statement Tuesday:
“The safety and wellness of residents of the Metro East and across Illinois will always remain our number-one priority. As we have continued to talk with local residents, families, business owners and employees, the damage caused by the coronavirus is very evident and is not solely on the physical health of those around us. Many small and family-owned businesses across the region have suffered tremendously and have been forced to make very difficult decisions in order to keep their doors open.
“We believe that in this decision process, more consideration should be given to these business owners and operators, who have already faced the economic brunt of this pandemic. We must work to ensure that the Hospitality Emergency Grant and the Business Interruption Grant are adequately funded and provide immediate relief to the businesses such as restaurants and bars that will be affected by this decision.
“While this critical situation requires tough decisions, those who are affected should be allowed a seat at the table to make sure that the livelihoods of many residents we serve are given ample consideration in the process. We stand behind our small businesses, who are the backbones of our local economies. We all want to see our Metro East businesses and workers succeed, and we will continue to work together to get our region running again.”