As the city again is nearly entirely shut down, local businesses are uniting with 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea to support the local economy with new raffles and contests.
O’Shea is also sponsoring a city ordinance that would support bars’ and restaurants’ delivery services, as they have had on-site services shut down for several weeks.
Two contests are underway.
The Small Business Super Raffle, in which the prizes range from a 2020 Ford Escape to gift cards to local businesses, runs through Dec. 18, with winners drawn two days later. O’Shea is hosting the event with several businesses and business associations.
“Takeout Tuesday,” in which participants post photos on social media of the local restaurant their meal came from, runs through Dec. 15.
Winners will be chosen every Friday and receive a $20 digital gift card for a “Bucks Stay Here” promotion that can be used at dozens of local businesses.
Local business leaders regularly say “Shop Local,” and O’Shea re-iterated that catchphrase while urging constituents to help the economy any way they can.
“This holiday season, purchase your gift cards locally from these businesses when you can,” he said. “They really need a shot in the arm.”
Tickets for the Super Raffle are $10 and available at the19thward.com. The winners will be drawn on Facebook Live on Dec. 20. As of press time, over $40,000 worth of tickets had been sold.
Besides the grand prize of a new car, provided by McCarthy Ford in Mt. Greenwood, the second-place prize is $5,000 and free pizza for one year at S & T Provisions in Mt. Greenwood; the third-, fourth- and fifth-place prizes are $3,900 worth of local gift cards—$100 to each of 39 shops.
Proceeds from ticket sales will be given back to participating businesses.
O’Shea knew he could count on S & T to sponsor the contest, as the business has also organized other promotions during the COVID-19 crisis.
And McCarthy Ford stepping up with a new car raised the stakes.
“Obviously, you want to give away a big prize,” O’Shea said, “when you’re trying to have a big event like this.”
County Fair Foods is also sponsoring the raffle, along with the 95th Street Business Association, Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association, and Mt. Greenwood Community and Business Association.
Those three associations are also hosting “The Bucks Stay Here” promotion, in which people can purchase an online gift card that can be used at over 40 local businesses.
“Takeout Tuesday” provides the chance to win a free card, and participants must do the following: order takeout or delivery service from a restaurant in the 19th Ward on a Tuesday; post a photo of the meal on social media; then tag O’Shea and the restaurant saying what they had. Photos must be submitted by the end of the day on Tuesday on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
O’Shea hopes it helps the local restaurant scene—and he is also trying to make sure those restaurants benefit as much as possible from their delivery services.
On Nov. 10, O’Shea submitted an ordinance proposal that would create a temporary 15-percent cap on the fees that third-party delivery services can charge restaurants.
As O’Shea said, and as media reports explain, such services often take up to 30 percent of the sales from a purchase. O’Shea believes lowering that cut will help restaurants already stymied by service restrictions.
“Our local restaurants are struggling,” O’Shea said. “Some of them will probably end up closing their doors. Many of them are reaching into their savings to keep staff employed, to keep the doors open … We need to provide some relief there.”
A hearing to discuss the ordinance was scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 17, with City Council set to discuss it Wednesday, Nov. 18.
Chicago has been under a new strategy called “Protect Chicago” that went into effect at 6 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 16. The plan features new regulatory measures, including a stay-at-home advisory.
The advisory guidelines include only leaving home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as grocery shopping, picking up takeout food or when seeking medical care; not having gatherings in homes that include anybody outside of the normal household, except for essential staff such as health care workers or educators; avoiding non-essential out-of-state travel; wearing face coverings and staying 6 feet away from people when leaving home; closing non-essential businesses by 11 p.m.; and using remote modes of communication with family, including for Thanksgiving.
Residents “are strongly advised to adhere to the advisory,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a news release.
Other restrictions include limiting meetings, both indoors and outdoors, to 10 people, including for weddings and funerals.
Industries that have specific capacity guidelines, including fitness clubs, retail stores and movie theaters, supersede those limit restrictions.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued statewide guidelines with similar restrictions on Nov. 13.
Lightfoot said Chicago is “deep into a second surge” of the virus, with steeply rising new daily cases.
The city recently had over 1,900 new daily cases based on a seven-day rolling average.
The positivity rate citywide and countrywide is “exploding,” O’Shea said. He said he constantly urges people to wear facemasks and socially distance, and he fears area hospitals’ intensive care units are filling up.
“We have to do better as a community,” O’Shea said. “If you can work from home, we got to do a better job.”