Dear Mayor Stand With Us.

Dear Mayor: First we want to thank you for taking a stand with the thousands of people in the Hospitality Industry in our community by not enforcing the Governors orders for this weekend. I am sure you will agree it's our restaurants, bars and the many unique venues we have that has built this great city. There is a lot of history in our hospitality industry and history is the story of the fabricate of our community. As you know, John and I own and operate Godfather's Pizza. In Springfield we have two Godfather's Locations. We also have the Dew Chilli Parlor and Dew Chilli Pub and Grills. There are 3 locations. Between these five locations there are 100 incredible people who proudly serve our community. Some are married, some are single, nearly all are parents of small children. Some of our staff are elderly folks supplementing their income, and some are veterans, and some with special needs often pushed aside in life because they are different. But all are great people. To John and I they are family. John and I invested in our locations, locations that have become landmarks in our community. Before we took them over they were on the verge of closing. Dew is over 111 years old and founded in Springfield, Illinois. It's now going national through the New Dew Chilli Canned product. Just that production has provided many jobs on the production line not included in the numbers of people employed in the store locations. Dew is giving our country a taste of our great city, representing our city in a positive way. Godfather’s is the oldest location in the Nation. When the Movie Godfather came out the Dirksen Parkway store location was opened. It too was nearly closed but John and I saw potential and bought it. Today, it has come back from the brink of closure to being the 6th highest volume location in the Country and has been operating in our community for over 50 years, and it's here in Springfield. It's been featured in movies and draws thousands of tourists each year to our great city. Our business, like so many others businesses in Springfield is what built our city. These landmarks will likely not survive another shut down. That means all the people we described above are left with no income, no insurance, no hope. We are writing to urge you to not enforce the Governor's order to close indoor eating and drinking operations for bars and restaurants in Springfield. Our business and that of our colleagues and competitors are close to collapse and further limitations on our ability to stay open and serve our community will mean the end of our business. Since the COVID-19 crisis started, we have taken numerous steps to make sure our business is a safe place for our customers and our employees. This has included purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), instituting new policies for cleaning and sanitizing, and generally following the guidelines put forth by Illinois and the CDC. We do temperature checks each shift. We have installed plexiglass and have professional cleaning crews come in our locations to sanitize on top of our staff rigorous cleaning. We have gone above and beyond to keep our community safe. To keep our people working. To keep our City Strong. It is frustrating that despite our efforts, the severe restrictions on our business are not tied or linked to anything that has happened in our business. Bars and restaurants appear to be shouldering all the blame for an uptick in COVID-19 cases that, to our knowledge, has not been traced to bars and restaurants. Not only is this unfair, it is ineffective and does not address the larger problem. By closing our business, the Governor is removing our ability to make sure that beer, wine and spirits are consumed safely in our community. Instead, drinking is being driven underground to house parties and other gatherings where social distancing, masking and other safety protocols are not in place or enforced. The Governor is driving people to the very places that are causing a surge in COVID-19. So the Governor's order is feed COVID-19 not beat it. Your order to not enforce the Governor's order allows John and I and our employees do our part to provide safe hospitality environments for our fellow Illinoisans. Allows us to help defeat COVID-19. As winter approaches, the days turn darker and the weather turns colder, We are reaching a breaking point, just as so many of our fellow bar and restaurant owners are across the state. We got into this business because we believe in people, community and provid