Rockford ordinance would fine ‘non-essential’ businesses $750 a day for operating during ‘shelter in place’ order

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said City Council will vote Monday on an ordinance that would allow the city to fine companies up to $750 per day if they are deemed a non-essential business but continue to operate.

Gov. JB Pritzker’s executive “Shelter in Place” order says all Illinois residents should practice “social distancing,” and says all non-essential businesses must close.

Essential businesses are broadly defined as healthcare, human services, essential government functions, essential infrastructure, grocery stores, charitable services, media, gas stations, banks, harware stores, critical trades, mail and shipping services, educational institutions for distance learning purposes, restaurants for off-site consumption purposes, laundry services, transportation, home-based care, shelters, professional services, daycare centers, manufacture of critical products and services, hotels and motels, and funeral services.

McNamara said some businesses may not fully understand Gov. JB Pritzker’s executive order to shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, he said, “there are a couple of folks that we’re more concerned about, the ones that certainly know the executive order…we’ve stated to them that they’re non-essential…and they still continue to operate, putting their employees and other citizens at risk.”

The ordinance would allow the City to use financial measures to gain compliance, McNamara said Friday.

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