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Local businesses push through pandemic and outages to stay in business

After two employees tested positive for COVID-19, Pizza and Subs in Rock Island shut down for a week -- only to return hours before Monday's derecho hit.

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — After two employees tested positive for COVID-19, Pizza and Subs shut down for a week -- only to return hours before Monday's derecho hit.

"We had been open for about three hours... and then the power went out," said owner Lisa Hoskins. "It was just kind of like 'what else could happen?"

Nearly a week ago, Hoskins said she learned two of her employees had tested positive for COVID-19. Taking exposure into consideration, she said she voluntarily chose to close up shop for a week.

"That was just kind of a reinforcement for us that we're just going to stick with the curbside and delivery for now," said Hoskins.

Hoskins said back up generators and gas-run appliances allowed her business to stay afloat after Monday's derecho. 

She said once power lines went down, her phone lines rang off the hook.

It was kind of a comeback from COVID," said Hoskins. "When the power goes out, generally, business goes up because people can’t cook and it just turns to chaos."

Hoskins said it is welcomed chaos - and revenue - after months of slow foot traffic.

"This is our first Friday night back since our week off so we were prepared to be a little busy tonight," Hoskins said.

Hoskins said the family-owned business has been around for 35 years and 2020 will not be the year to call it quits -- it's actually the year for growth.

"Over the past year or so we’ve been trying to launch and formulate our sauces," said Hoskins.

Within the next month or two, Hoskins said she hopes to sell her family's pasta and pizza sauce recipes by the jar in store.

"It would be under the “Grandma Rose” label which is my mom’s name who I learned everything from," said Hoskins.