Make your home page

Broad Ripple construction impact on small businesses: ‘Almost twice the economic impact of what COVID did’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Construction on Broad Ripple Avenue has been a huge blow for some local businesses. The Union Jack Pub tells News 8 business is worse than it was during the peak of the pandemic.

“We’ve been surprised at the business levels being worse than they were going COVID,” Chelsey Wetzel, co-owner of the Union Jack Pub, said.

Construction on Broad Ripple Avenue between College and Winthrop avenues was supposed to be completed by New Year’s Eve, but now, the city says only work between Guilford and Winthrop will be finished by then.

The rest will be done by mid 2023.

“And now with some delays it’s a dual season, so they’re doing one section now and then another section in the spring. I think that was a big shock to all of us and just something that we’re pivoting again and preparing for a second layer and level of shutdown in the spring,” Wetzel said.

Chelsey Wetzel and her husband Jay own the Union Jack Pub on Broad Ripple Avenue.

“It was an unexpected blow. I think we knew we were going to have to weather some bumpiness with construction. I don’t think we expected this kind of a fallout that we’ve had,” Wetzel said.

This month’s World Cup Soccer should be one of the biggest times of the year for the Union Jack. Now, the games are barely keeping the pub afloat.

The number of customers has plunged about 30% from what they’d normally see

“A significant almost twice the economic impact of what COVID did. I think it was a huge shock to us in our planning and preparation,” Wetzel said.

Some customers say the construction has also made it harder to get to businesses.

“It was tough to find parking before the construction, but now it’s almost impossible. I had to walk a little bit to get here. I don’t mind the walk thankfully if the weather permits today,” Francesco Settanni, a customer, said.

Chelsey is asking the community to show support to local businesses in the area during this difficult time.

“So, I just want to raise awareness for other consumers to make the effort when they’re favorite businesses are impacted to maybe try an extra night out to eat or shop or whatever it might be,” Wetzel said.

“Obviously, I could have watched the game at home, but definitely all we can do to support businesses is always appreciated,” Settanni said.

The owners of the Union Jack Pub say although the construction project has come with some challenges they’re looking forward to its end result.