ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A local tradition started during the pandemic is gearing up for its second year.

The Rockford Region Restaurant Week kicks off on Monday. More than 35 dining establishments are offering deals.

One owner said that the event comes at a perfect time, as some restaurants could use a financial boost.

“The character of the city comes from the people that are running small businesses here. Every time you go and spend your dollars there you’re actually helping out somebody that lives in the community, and the money stays in the community,” said Emily Hurd, owner of The Norwegian, 1402 N Main St. “That’s a mission of ours, and it means a lot to us when people come out and support any small business.”