Some Chicago suburbs want to reopen sooner than governor's 5-phase plan would allow

Some suburban mayors are critical of the current stay-at-home order and releasing their own plans to reopen sooner.

When you take a ride down the main drag of Orland Park, there are hundreds of businesses -- many of them closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. But now, village leaders have put together a 23-page plan that includes four phases to reopen barbershops, nail salons, gyms and even restaurants well before the summer.

“[If you follow Governor JB Pritzker's plan], restaurants wouldn’t be able to open until almost July, and our small mom and pop restaurants would be out of business,” said Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau.

Pekau says his suburb has lost over $2-million in sales tax since the coronavirus pandemic started. A lot of that money comes from Orland Square mall, which is set to open May 31.

“I am very comfortable with the procedures they are going to take [to reopen the mall safely],” Pekau said.

Governor JB Pritzker, however, does not agree.

“That’s something that will have to happen over the course of months,” he said.

Mayor of Lockport Steve Streit says he is ready to reopen businesses as well.

“Why can I get recreational cannabis, but can’t go to the tobacco shop? Or to the vape shop? These businesses are mom and pops and they're going to die. And the problem is the conversation nationally has turned into, it's either 'oh you want to kill grandma' or 'you want to destroy the economy',” Streit said.

Both Orland Park and Lockport have lower cases of coronavirus compared to other villages in their counties. However, Governor Pritzker says the problem is people travel.

Village leaders have not made a decision yet on when all of the businesses will reopen, as they are waiting on direction from the governor.