INDIANAPOLIS — With COVID-19 cases rising nationwide, restaurants and bars are holding on to some of their pandemic adaptations. English Ivy's in Indianapolis is one of them. They, unlike many other places, had space for outside seating.
"It was pandemic-related, but now we've got it and we're going to utilize it all the time. It's kind of a plus to the pandemic if there is such a thing," English Ivy's owner Jeff Roberts said. "We were lucky to have this. It used to be a parking spot but now it's a patio."
If closures or capacity limits are reinstated because of the rise in COVID-19 cases, businesses are hopeful there will be funds for them to adapt.
The State of Indiana is offering Small Business Restart Grants through the Back on Track Indiana Plan. Businesses that meet eligibility requirements can receive up to $50,000.
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Depending on where you live, your city or county could also be offering similar grants. You're encouraged to check with your local chamber of commerce.
In Indianapolis, the form for temporary outside seating is still up. However, Mayor Joe Hogsett said it won't be possible, at least for now, to permanently close streets like in the summer and fall of 2020 for outside dining. Hogsett said it would be too costly under the city's parking meter contract.
Roberts explained that he's hopeful his business won't have to worry about adapting their business model despite the fact COVID-19 cases are on the rise again.
"We're afraid, of course. We're afraid we'll have to go through it all again. We don't want to go out of business. We want to stay here," Roberts said.