GALESBURG — When Gov. JB Pritzker this week ordered the closure of all bars and restaurants to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many businesses were left scrambling to find a way to stay afloat until the order is lifted. At press time, the shutdown period is expected to last through March 30.

“Everybody is nervous because we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Michelle McBride of Big Catz BBQ in Knoxville. “Business stops or slows — but bills don’t stop.”

“The effects will be long-lasting,” said Michelle Kim, owner of Cherry Street Restaurant and Bar in Galesburg. “This is one of the biggest bar holidays [St. Patrick’s Day], and we spent hundreds of dollars on food and alcohol.”

For now, Cherry Street is offering curbside pick-up and home deliveries for food items. But because they do not have a packaged liquor license, they will not be selling alcohol until they are able to open again and resume regular in-house hours at the end of the month.

Big Catz is also offering curbside pickup and delivery service from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., as well as selling six- and 12-packs of alcohol. They will continue to offer catering services, especially to businesses that are still open and want to bring meals to their employees.

Cherry Street and Big Catz are not the only small businesses that may find these next two weeks difficult. The Bar 65, a locally owned pub on Cherry Street in downtown Galesburg, is not able to offer any sort of curbside or drive-through service as some restaurants can.

“The bar is shut down period,” said Sam Burdick, owner of The Bar 65. “We are not allowed to sell any alcohol. It’s an unfortunate circumstance that we have to close, but I am supporting the government in any way we can. I hope that this is part of the solution and we lose fewer lives.”

Hidden Hills Winery in Knoxville has had to reschedule all of its events, but is still offering curbside pickup of wine bottles from 2 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Other businesses, such as Fat Fish Pub in Galesburg, have had to reschedule or cancel events that will impact their anticipated revenue.

“I would still encourage everyone to support their restaurants and bars when they can because this is going to have a huge impact on employees and these smaller businesses,” Kim said. “We are following all safety food regulations and taking extra precautions to combat this virus. I have personally encouraged any employee that is not feeling well not to come to work.”

Even with the loss of revenue, Cherry Street is doing its best to keep and care for employees. Kim hopes that with pushing delivery and curbside pickup, they will be able to make ends meet.

“I addressed all the employees last week, and we are going to get through this together and do everything to get this to work,” Kim said. “I will not be releasing anybody.”

For information on changed hours or options for curbside and delivery orders, call your restaurant of choice or find it on social media, where many restaurants are keeping customers up to date.

“As long as we are healthy, we are going to be doing all we can do to help our customers,” McBride said.