COVID-19 I Hotel industry hit hard by pandemic, legislation could help

By DYLAN SMITH, NEWS3 Reporter

MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) — Of the businesses that are still struggling to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel industry is near the top of the list. 

President and CEO of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, Michael Jacobsen, says hotels in the state have faced an 80 percent decline in revenue because of closures from the pandemic. Jacobsen also says Illinois continues to lose business to border states such as Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri, where hotels have quickly reopened. 

A piece of legislation worth $250 million in grant funding has been introduced for a Hotel Job Recovery Program that would allow hotels to rehire staff laid off during the pandemic.