The mayors of Loves Park, Machesney Park, Durand, South Beloit, and Cherry Valley want the authority to reopen some businesses next month.

A letter, sent from the mayors to Governor JB Pritzker, asks that if Pritzker extends the stay-at-home order, the municipalities get to be allowed to decide which small businesses can stay open.

They say thousands of workers are suffering because they have been deemed non-essential.

CBS affiliate WIFR-TV in Rockford reported Loves Park Mayor Greg Jury noted that big box stores are being allowed to stay open, but small businesses not.

“We’re asking that some measure of control be returned locally on a regional basis to Northern Illinois. Northern Illinois is not Detroit, Northern Illinois is not Kentucky, and frankly it’s not Cook County,” Village Administrator for Machesney Park Tom Savage was quoted by WIFR.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara did not sign onto the letter and does not agree with the idea.

“Now is not the time to reverse course. A plan to open all businesses on a single day – or to allow a hodgepodge system where each city makes its own rules – is not responsible,” McNamara said in a statement quoted by WIFR.

Pritzker says that he's keeping track of the COVID-19 situation before deciding when to pull back on restrictions. Indiana's governor, Eric J. Holcomb, just extended Indiana's stay-at-home order until May 1st.


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