“We run Irish pubs.

“The to-go business on corned beef sandwiches is good [but] I’m not sure what will happen tomorrow. The staff asks me what will happen. I’m supposed to have the answers because I’m the boss. But I don’t know. I can’t say when we’ll be open.

“So much of our lives, so many activities center around our businesses. My son took his first steps in the restaurant. We’re here all the time. It would just be heartbreaking to lose them.

“With the insurance carriers, would I be better to terminate the staff so they can go on COBRA so they have health care? I just don’t know.

“The state’s said nothing and the feds have offered small business loans. Unlike the government, I’m not going to take a loan when I do not know if I can pay it back. I can’t know that because I don’t know how long we’ll be closed.

“I don’t know much about bankruptcy, but I’m going to learn.

“We’ve been in business 20-plus years. If I want to be open in two weeks, people will think I’m not concerned and just want to make money. But for me not to be open, I stop making money and the expenses continue.

“I need some kind of guidance from the state. We heard nothing about a delay on income taxes that were due Monday, so we went ahead and paid them.

“I’m completely against the progressive tax [on the Nov. 3 ballot]. When government puts ‘fair’ next to anything, I know I’m in trouble. To me the fairest thing is a flat tax. You make more, you pay more. You make less, you pay less.

“I wish we had no income taxes like other states. In my businesses, taxes just cut into revenue so I need to cut expenses.

“Vendors are giving us 60 days on payments, but that time will come and go and I will still owe. Without money coming in, I’ll need to look at the numbers and make a decision. I don’t know what to do because I don’t know what will happen. I can’t research an answer because I’m not in control of the situation.

“My 16-year-old son is taking down the St. Patrick’s Day decorations. Bless him, he got up today and said, ‘How can I help?’

“His 17th birthday is in a week. It’s usually a big deal because we’re coming off St. Pat’s. This year I’m afraid it’s going to be kind of sad.”

Kristan Vaughan
Chicago, Illinois
Operator of Vaughan Hospitality Group, with seven Irish pubs in Chicago and the suburbs and an average of between 150 and 200 employees.