When restrictions related to COVID-19 hit central Illinois, most “non-essential” businesses were forced to close their doors. While seeking federal assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program—among other initiatives to stay solvent—companies around the region began pivoting to help the community navigate the pandemic.
Black Band Distillery, which was set to open in Peoria’s Warehouse District, transitioned to making hand sanitizer to help ease the nationwide shortage. Preckshot Compounding Pharmacy did the same. Engineers at Advanced Technology Services (ATS) worked with OSF HealthCare to design a reusable face shield for healthcare workers on the frontlines.
The Four Points by Sheraton hotel, having postponed its long-awaited reopening, announced it would serve as an alternate housing site for those who require isolation or quarantine. Hy-Vee began offering full-service fueling at its new gas station on Sheridan Road. Meltdown Creative Works launched the CommUNITY Store on its website, selling t-shirts branded with local business logos and sending a portion of the proceeds back to them.
As restaurants transitioned from dine-in to carry-out, they also got innovative. Connected pivoted to frozen meals, Heath offered half-price bottles of wine, and Edge transitioned to family meals. The Fox Pub began spotlighting local nonprofits on Saturdays, donating a portion of sales to the organization. The Spot Coffee added a drive-through to its building, while Zion Coffee delivered coffee to workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.
Central Illinois business owners and residents have rallied together and stand resilient in the face of this crisis. Though we do not know what lies ahead, we believe in the generosity and ingenuity of our community. Please send us your stories so we can highlight the work you are doing as part of our #PositiveOnPeoria initiative. PM