Short end of the stick

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I usually avoid national issues but what I’ve read recently irked me.

Of the $349 million in low interest loans offered by the government, just 75 companies reportedly received $300 million. That left a measly $49 million for the thousands of businesses that make up Main Street America.

Small businesses got the short end of the stick.

One industrial supply company has a government contract to supply the much needed N-95 masks. This company does not produce masks, it sells them. The firm reportedly bought three million masks from a supplier for $4 each and then sold them to the federal government for about $8 each.

Nothing says profit like pandemic.

On the opposite side though, a non-profit research firm operating nationwide and in the Chicago suburbs was hired in 2014 to study the most effective way to clean masks in case of a pandemic. They are now cleaning N-95 masks at the rate of 80,000 a day. For free. Yes, free.

It seems that back in 2014 the government was looking ahead. What happened?

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Universities and colleges will be impacted by Covid-19. Enrollments will certainly be affected as students and families struggle to find funds for college.

Kishwaukee College will be offering $500 scholarships for students affected by Covid-19. Scholarships are through the foundation and were announced this week.

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I was pleasantly surprised when I called Cypress House for a coffee last week. When I asked how to pay, owner Krista Stewart said a good-hearted soul paid for everyone’s coffee that day.

What a great way to support a local business and make a person smile.  Thank you, generous mystery person. 

Incidentally, you order, select a pick-up time, and pull up. Someone will put your coffee out on a table in front. It’s convenient and safe.

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We are seeing the importance of testing for Covid-19 with the situation at Rochelle Foods. Workers had mandatory testing this week in hopes to identify who might be able to return to work when the plant reopens.

Hormel is a great friend of the community and an essential business. They are huge supporters in the effort to feed those in need as well as a lot of other causes.  

There are some who may ask why it took so long to start testing, but hindsight is 2020. What we should learn is that if you are feeling sick, stay home.  

And if you are feeling fine, stay home. Flatten the curve.

Terry Dickow is a retired elementary school teacher with lots of opinions, some you will like, some you won’t. He can be contacted at terrydickow@gmail.com.