Roger Sosa, executive director of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, says 45 percent of businesses that responded to a chamber survey said they’ve shut down “until further notice” because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the 130 business owners that responded to the survey, he says. most of the rest said they’ve either scaled back hours or — in the case of restaurants — switched to a delivery-and-carryout-only business model.

Sosa says the businesses responding to the survey had about 1,200 employees, and they’ve laid off roughly 40 percent of those workers.

He’s encouraging business owners to apply for assistance programs through the Small Business Administration and says it may take the rest of the year to return business activity to anything resembling the normal we were familiar with before the coronavirus reached Evanston.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Time to Retrench

    These videos have been great.  And trying times like these remind us how vital journalism is and how we need and crave information…and truth.  So, thank you.

    We have to assume the current situation is going to remain throughout April…and probably throughout May…and maybe June.  Then it’s summer and the NU kids (and their $) are definitely gone.  And if we start seeing waves of reinfection?  The economic hit is going to be huge.

    It’s time for the City to start publicly addressing the budget.  There are a lot of assumptions in there that are not going to be realized.  Show us the shortfalls.  And start cutting appropriately.  Don’t wait six months.  

  2. Tax Producers

    Every restaurant with a liquor license should have that fee waived, at least through April for the present.

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