PEORIA HEIGHTS (WEEK) - Gov. JB Pritzker said Illinois is on track to enter Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan June 11.
For local businesses that have followed the state's COVID-19 guidelines, a return to normal has been a long time coming.
The owner of Hearth Restaurant in Peoria Heights said his business took the restrictions seriously for the safety of staff and customers, operating with carryout only at one time, then moving to low-capacity limits.
How, the Phase 5 reopening means new life inside the locally owned spot.
"It's been a financial strain to stay within 50-percent capacity. 50-percent capacity it's been difficult. I think it will reap rewards in the long run," said Hearth owner Hugh Higgins.
"I'm just glad we're still here to being able to reap those rewards," Higgins said.
It's been a long year of ups and downs, said Higgins, but latest news from the governor makes him optimistic about the future.