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Business owners on Indy's far eastside relying on the community for support

Pandemic creates a real challenge
Small business eastside
Posted at 7:46 PM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 19:46:44-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Businesses on the Far Eastside of Indianapolis are working to let the community know that they are still open and they need your support.

“This is my life. This is what I do. I get up, I come here, and I go home,” said Michael Alender, owner of Kingdom Cleaners on 30th near Franklin Road.

He said he’s lost a lot of business due to the pandemic and getting financial support and assistance wasn’t easy. “It took probably two thirds, roughly two thirds of my business away which is understandable, people were quarantined. They couldn't go out anywhere, so what do you need your clothes cleaned for?” said Alender.

Other small businesses in the area are also feeling the impacts of the pandemic.

“The storefront was really slow,” said Trelique Tinker-Martin. She owns Pinky’s Sweet Tooth Factory. She just opened a location on Pendleton Pike and Shadeland. They offer homestyle meals and cheesecake jars, but she said they’re working to find new ways to serve the community.

“Some days I’m like, oh no what am I going to do? And some days I’m like you have to just keep pushing and try to tell myself, get up every day and come to work… even if you get one customer,” said Tinker-Martin. “We are trying to implement new things and offering curbside pickup, call ahead ordering.”

The owners of both businesses recently received grants through the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). They said that is a major help when it comes to paying the bills and expanding their services, but both said the relationships they build with customers is what they hope will help keep their business running for years to come.