Businesses surviving despite pandemic struggles

Local News

ARCOLA, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s been a tough year for businesses across the board. However, despite the pandemic and economic crisis, many have managed to stay afloat.

We know this has been especially hard on restaurants. For some, though, they are able to just rely more on delivery and pickups. Indoor dining brought in about 30 to 40 percent of profits for Monical’s in Arcola before the pandemic. General Manager Doug Cisna says customers have actually helped them make up for those losses.

“Honesly our customers and my employees are what keep us going right now. The ability of my employees to just switch gears when we say here’s a change that’s made. The customers, they just keep coming. They keep supporting us,” he explained.

That Monical’s location has also kept all of its employees, but since they don’t need servers, they’ve had to re-arrange things. For example, their servers shifted to roles like answering phones and taking down orders.

Monical’s has also had to deal with some added expenses, like buying more single-use utensils instead of being able to wash them between customers as they would while serving inside.

We reached out to the City of Arcola to get numbers on how many businesses have closed, but they said they don’t keep track of those totals. The city of Tuscola said they don’t know of any businesses that have permanently closed because of the pandemic.

The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce tracked 35 closures because of the pandemic. Two have new owners and will reopen. There are at least three restaurants that are closed temporarily during the cold weather. Those are in addition to the 35.

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