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COVID concerns: Many Indy restaurants reaching breaking point

Some already closed, others likely to follow
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For Business Owners, pandemic leads to very tough choices
Posted at 11:40 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 23:40:53-05

INDIANAPOLIS — While restaurants across Indiana have been allowed to serve customers in-person for months, many are still struggling to stay afloat.

Shoefly Public House announced their closure on Monday. In a lengthy Facebook post, they explained how they were able to stay open thanks to PPP loans and then being allowed to reopen in May.

However, with Covid-19 numbers rising, too unsafe to eat inside, too cold to eat outside, Shoefly Public House decided closing was their best option.

"The rest of us are just out here having to choose 'do I wanna potentially expose myself to a pandemic or do I close my restaurant?'" Ian Phillips, owner of Three Carrots Fountain Square, said.

Three Carrots recently shut down temporarily after an employee was exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19. They were able to reopen because all their tests came back negative. However, Phillips wishes the the process to find out their results was easier.

"The reason why we had to close is because there isn't rapid testing available. If we would have been able to get tested and known in an hour or day that we were negative, we could have just continued to be open," Phillips said. He believes our government dropped the ball when the mandatory closures were in place.

"During that period when we were closed, that was when the state was supposed to have testing done, get contact tracing in place," Phillips said.

While local and federal governments have provided financial assistance to keep businesses open, that money is running out. Phillips believes there should be help for business who have to or choose to close in the interest of public health.

"Pay small businesses enough that we know if we have to close for several weeks because somebody does get COVID, we're not going to be out of business," Phillips said. "We are faced with an economic catastrophe and a human catastrophe and we're choosing to do both."