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Nearly 20% of Indiana restaurants have permanently closed this year, survey finds

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Posted at 10:46 AM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 19:06:28-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly 20% of Indiana's restaurants have closed since March, according to the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association.

The National Restaurant Association released the results of its November impact survey on Tuesday. It found that 33% of Indiana restaurant operators said it would be "unlikely" their restaurants would still be in business six months from now if there aren't additional relief packages from the government.

This comes after the group found in September that 41% of the state's restaurant would be unlikely to still be open in March of 2021.

“These results prove that Indiana restaurant business conditions continued to deteriorate the past three months without any additional federal relief,” Patrick Tamm, CEO of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association, said in a release. “It is imperative that the hospitality industry be considered in a federal relief package to keep employees working and restaurants in business.”

An additional 17% of Indiana restaurant owners say their current staffing levels are not what they would typically be compared to the survey findings in September.

According to the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association, none of the operators expect their sales will increase from current levels during the next three months.

"With costs rising and sales falling, the result is added damage to the bottom line. Ninety-three percent of Indiana operators say their restaurant’s profit margin is lower than it was prior to the COVID-19 outbreak," the organization's release read.

Restaurants are anticipating additional layoffs in the coming months. According to survey findings, 40% of Indiana operators expect their staffing levels to declines in the next three months, while 4% expect their job level to rise.

An option restaurants are considering is simply closing their doors until the pandemic has ended. According to the National Restaurant Association, 29% of Indiana operators are considering temporarily closing their restaurant until the COVID-19 pandemic passes.

MORE | Indianapolis restaurants and businesses permanently closed due to COVID-19

U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, released the following statement:

It’s clear Hoosier restaurants need more support from the federal government. I’ve been working for months to provide assistance to restaurants and small businesses through my RESTART Act, which would provide a lifeline to those who have suffered the greatest revenue losses. As the son of a small business owner, I’m committed to moving a coronavirus relief package forward to help these struggling restaurants keep the lights on.

U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indianapolis also released a statement:

Restaurants are a key part of our city's economy and quality of life. However, the recent report from the National Restaurant Association confirms that they are in dire straits. I want every restaurant to be able to fully open its doors for Hoosiers once this pandemic is behind us and dining out becomes safer. That means Congress needs to do everything in our power to help keep these businesses afloat. The CARES Act was a good start, but we need to do much more in our next relief bill for restaurant owners and employees, and to help them conduct business as safely as possible. Months ago, the House passed the Heroes Act, which provides more support for restaurants and small businesses, but the Senate failed to take it up. I am optimistic that our latest negotiations to provide relief will be successful, and I'll keep up this critical effort for as long as it takes.

WRTV Reporter Nicole Griffin contributed to this report.