One estimate suggests over 20,000 restaurants could close due to COVID-19

State News

CHICAGO (WMBD) — The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) estimates 21,700 restaurants could close in the wake of COVID-19 according to a survey from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The survey determined this would be the worst-case scenario, with only 15 percent of restaurant owners expecting their restaurants to survive if the COVID-19 pandemic continues for 6 months.

Chief Economist for IPI Orphe Divounguy said the trouble comes from many restaurant owners not having more than two months of savings.

“Small businesses such as food service establishments in Illinois generally have less than two months’ worth of cash on hand. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis and its long, mandated closures have pushed many businesses to the brink of permanently closing their doors,” Divounguy said.

The Illinois Restaurant Association currently projects that only 20 percent of restaurants will close, which would permanently close 5,100 food establishments.

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