How You Can Help Naperville Businesses During Coronavirus Pandemic

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Governor J.B. Pritzker’s recent announcement that all bars and restaurants in Illinois must close to the public through March 30 due to coronavirus and with people being asked to stay home has left many establishments scrambling to adjust.

Your Options – Restaurants

Christine Jeffries, President of the Naperville Development Partnership

“People can walk into a restaurant, pick up, and walk out. They simply can’t dine in,” said President of the Naperville Development Partnership, Christine Jeffries. “I think that’s an important thing too for those smaller restaurants that don’t have a lot of help getting things out.”

If you don’t want to go inside to pick up your orders, many places are offering curbside pick-up, ordering at the drive-thru, and home deliveries using DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc.

For a full list of eateries that are still open, you can visit the Dine Naperville and Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce websites.

Your Options – Retailers

Retailers and other businesses have also been affected and are finding innovative ways to keep their operations going.

Anderson’s Bookshop is offering 99-cent shipping for all online orders or curbside pick-up for these items. Naperville Running Company is also doing the same.

Learning Express Toys is keeping their young customers in mind, especially those who have birthdays. You can do curbside pick-up or home deliveries, with the gifts all wrapped and ready to go.

How You Can Help

While businesses are adjusting, Executive Director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance, Katie Wood, asks the community to “keep them in mind.”

“It’s a scary time. I have employees I’m not sure I can pay,” said Greg Gordon, owner of Dog Patch Pet & Feed.

Gordon said one way people can help is by fostering or adopting the around 12 animals they have to lessen the burden on employees and to continue shopping online.

How You Can Help – Postpone Events

Another way to help is to avoid cancelling events if it’s possible.

“Anybody that’s cancelling an event or a meeting up in this area that would otherwise use our hotels – rather than cancel, they postpone, they reschedule,” said Jeffries.

How You Can Help – Gift Cards

Many people have also started buying gift cards. Gordon said when you purchase one, the money stays in the business until you use it.

Katie Wood, Executive Director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance

Organizations like Bien Trucha Group, who own Santo Cielo and Quiubo in Naperville, are using the money generated from gift card sales to pay their employees, especially those who work on hourly wages.

Wood believes with community support, everyone will be able to get through this difficult time.

“We’re all in this together and we’re going to see them through to the other side. We’re optimistic, we’re hopeful,” said Wood. “Definitely, this was not part of anyone’s plan. And there’s going to be downsides, but we’re going to try to minimize those as best we can.”

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.