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  • Will Juntunen

Aurelio's Pizza of Morris

When the pandemic closed his dining room in March 2020, Aurelio’s Pizza of Morris’ owner Gilberto Goyco wanted help navigating the new normal. Following up on a referral from the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce, Goyco reached out to the Small Business Development Center sponsored by the Starved Rock Business Alliance. He felt relief when Amy Lambert returned his call almost immediately. The two went to work right away.

Goyco wanted to serve his community comfort food during the worst of the quarantine. Business was slow, but he refused to lay his team off. Lambert guided him through the complicated application for the Payroll Protection Plan. With the funding, he kept his business open every day, keeping all his staff employed. He supported first responders and medical staff by sending pizzas to the fire station, the police headquarters and Morris Hospital. As of Fall, his curbside pickup and delivery has rebounded to normal levels. However, the dining room numbers have yet to recover, an issue he works on with Lambert. “When everything gets back to normal, I want to gather everyone who pulled together in my dining room. I’m bringing the pizza!” He stays in touch with the SBDC, reading the email newsletters. The webinar programs give him business ideas to put into action right away. For example, he now networks with veteran organizations, building business and doing good at the same time.

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