New Boone County website helps businesses stay in compliance with reopening safety guidelines

Local News

BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — On Thursday, Boone County made a new resource available to share safety guidelines with businesses preparing to reopen.

The website is called Forward Boone County, and it follows Illinois Gov. JB Prtizker’s announcement that bars and restaurants with outdoor seating can reopen on May 29th.

“The website has all kinds of information and links to sector-specific businesses that will be reopening, starting on the 29th,” said Belvidere Area of Commerce director, Amy Grafton. “So, not only restaurants and bars, but other businesses as well.”

The site serves as a one-stop-shop for information on safety guidelines and new regulations as businesses adjust to living with COVID-19.

“It’s a checklist for businesses to go through as they are preparing to reopen over the next 10 days, and a checklist they can view daily or weekly, as their businesses are open, to make sure they are in compliance.”

Heather Steins owns three Belvidere restaurants, including The Shortline, and she says she’s ready.

“Tables will be six feet apart, and then [we’ll be implementing] increased sanitation out here as well, as we have the opportunity to get back inside,” Steins said. “We have very narrow buildings, so we’re going to do the best that we can to maximize our space, while also keeping everyone safe.”

In the meantime, Steins says she’s grateful for the support she’s received from the community.

“I think we’re all searching for a return to a new normal, so we’re excited for that new normal,” she said. “We’ve learned so much along the way, and are now offering a lot of adaptations because of this process.”

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