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Indianapolis restaurant industry needs relief now

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some business owners said the changes President Trump wants made to the relief package passed by Congress would benefit them. However, the longer it takes for the president to sign a bill, the closer those businesses are to shutting their doors.

The current bill reintroduces the business lunch, dinner and breakfast tax break, to give restaurants a boost. It’s an incentive that could get some of the city’s biggest customer base back.

Mikado general manger Connie Lee, said finding ways to stay afloat has been a constant battle.

“Downtown specifically, is convention driven and business-driven, we do have some great regulars and locals but we’re a pretty big restaurant, we seat 200 normally, before pandemic and without conventions, we’re just not able to fill those seats,” said Lee.

Over at Tony’s Seafood and Steak, general manager Michael Morgan said it’s the same story.

“You don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. With the loss of conventions and the transient business women and men, it’s been a really big hit for all the restaurants,” said Morgan.

Congress is working to lighten some of that load with its $900 billion relief bill.

President of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association Patrick Tamm said if it isn’t signed soon, thousands of restaurants will have to close.

“I have to answer to a couple of their CFO’s in about 20 minutes, and the panic is, it’s April again,” said Tamm.

The president is also calling on Congress to boost payments to individuals from $600 to $2,000. The move supported by Democrats in Congress could bring it up for a vote Thursday.

How Republicans will respond remains unclear.