Well, back in the day George Gershwin did sing ‘Summertime and the livin’ is easy.’ We have come a long way since then and COVID-19 seems to have destroyed any chance of that, but thankfully some local businesses are trying to bring some joy to summer this year I spite of the chaos.
Local H came to Gibson’s Harvest Moon Drive-In Theater and performed for two days at the weekend. This marked the first large musical event of its kind since the coronavirus pandemic began and the entertainment industry was all but shuttered back in March.
While drive-ins have become way less common over the last few decades, the pandemic has pushed people to think outside the box. As such, events such as these are not only popular but a wonderful nostalgic memory for middle-aged folk as well as new and exciting for 20+ year olds.
In addition, yesterday there was a wonderful bike camping adventure put on by The Out Our Front Door Organization that started in downtown Chicago at Ping Tom Park and ends today in Shabbona Woods.
Despite the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, there have still been some business transactions in the works. Here, we look at two local ones in the hospital industry: a brewery and a food delivery firm.
Having ceased operations during the coronavirus outbreak, Argus Brewery has now been put up for sale for $2.5m. This facility produces and distributes beer and is located in a Pullman District. The space – measuring 9,700 square foot has the capacity to make 10,000 barrels each year. There is at least one camera in each room, a huge freight elevator with a fully operational original motor designed by Nikola Tesla. The $2.5m price tags includes the delivery vehicle, equipment, and any remaining furniture and intellectual properties.
Then there is the Amsterdam-based food delivery firm Grubhub. This is being purchased by Just Eat Takeaway.com for a $7.3b price tag. This will make it the largest online food delivery platform in the world (except for China). Each share of Grubhub is being valued at $75.15. Matt Maloney, founder and CEO of Grubhub will take up membership on the board at Just Eat Takeaway.com. at the end of 2020, there were approximately 2,700 employees; 1,200 of these are in Chicago. It is anticipated that the deal will be complete by Q1 2021.
The City of Chicago has promised aid of up to $10m. The Department of Planning and Development will be earmarking grants for emergency cases. Both business owners and individuals are hopeful that they will qualify.
Jewel, the City of Chicago and community partners are also working hard to provide assistance for small businesses during this time. An $11m fund has been created in the hope of helping them re-build. According to Mayor Lori Lightfoot:
“Thanks to this fund, many Chicago businesses will be able to address the critical obstacles that businesses are facing and help them make the reopening in our Phase 3 a true reality for them, their employees and their customers. Getting our businesses back on their feet is vital to really moving our city forward and restoring vibrancy and hope in our neighborhoods.”
As well, White Sox has started selling T-shirts to raise money for the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, with White Six logos, the slogan ‘Chicago Together’ and the Chicago City Flag embellished.