“Most of my staff have filed for unemployment” states Stelio owner of 5 O’Clock Steakhouse. Stelio is offering curbside services but sales is down by 95%. Near West Side businesses are making tough decisions that not only has and will continue to affect the bottomline but also many of the residents who work at these establishments.
Triciclo Peru is offering curbside service and is aggressively promoting on social media their offerings to the local community. Amy, co-owner of Triciclo Peru has two employees who live in the Near West Side.
In a recent Facebook post Angela Dulaney-Smith of Daddy’s Soul Food restaurant shared they are shutting down for the next 30 days. They also offered curbside but the felt it necessary to shut down once Governor Evers’ put in place the #SaferatHome order.
The impact has been felt even for our larger anchor institutions with Harley-Davidson shutting down production.
Some businesses have seen some uptick as they provide staples such as gas, grocery and other important items. But even in light of providing those provisions they have still been affected.
Mo’s Asian Food Market, located near 24th and Clybourn, is a midsize grocer offering fresh produce and host of south east Asian products, although a number shelves are empty, hours have been reduced to 11am – 6pm.
Businesses like Quick Pick near 24th and Wisconsin seems busy with local residents using the store as a place again for staples. Family Dollar is also playing a very valuable role for the local residents by supplying a number important items to sanitize and keep homes clean. However, with the #SaferatHome order these businesses still see lower than expected sales.
Even local gas stations are impacted. “I am scared for my employees, I’m trying to provide some safe guards (gloves, cleaning supplies, masks) I still fear for everyone’s safety. For our customers and our own.” shares Mandeep of Hometown gas station on 35th and Park Hill.
NWSP has partnered with LISC and J.P. Chase Morgan to offer grants of up to $1,250 to cover rent and employee payroll. In addition, the Live, Work, Play program has changed to a rental assistance program of up to $500 for these who live and work in the Near West Side. For more information on these programs feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite this global health crisis the Near West Side community is working together and looking towards the future and the health of both our community and the economy.