Indy mayor offers rent deferral program to tenants of City Market

The latest on the coronavirus on March 27 from News 8 at 5 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The mayor of Indianapolis announced Friday that tenants in the main hall of City Market are being offered a two-month rent deferral.

The announcement comes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than two dozen small businesses and market merchants have been impacted by the pandemic and Friday’s announcement is aimed at lightening the burden for these small business owners.

Owner of Grecian Garden restaurant John Mavrikis has been a tenant for 17 years and says business has been slow.

“These are crazy times. Very, very slow. I think there’s maybe three of us open in here right now. I don’t know about the whole market,” Mavrikis said.

The announcement has also lightened the burden for Papa Gus restaurant. Owner Gus Mavrikis said he’s been working since the outbreak started.

“Thank you mister mayor for helping us out. We really really appreciate it,” Gus Mavrikis said. “I know all the vendors in here do. I’ve been really worried about it and we have to make this work too, plus our personal bills so this is great news. We needed it.”

Mayor Joe Hogsett is encouraging the community to come together during this time of uncertainty.

Business owners still want people to do carry out or delivery service.

“Lunch time is our trademark and it’s 11:30, 12 o’clock and it’s slow,” Gus said. “It’s a little depressing, you worry about it.” The Papa Gus owner said he hopes City Market can come back to life soon.

“That’s why I’m proud that the City of Indianapolis – as landlord to these small businesses – is in a position to offer this flexibility in support of their continued success,” Hogsett said in a news release Friday. “It is my hope that we will continue to see other landlords, businesses, and institutions do what they can to ensure our community’s best days are yet to come.”

The decision comes after the city and Indy Chamber moved the focus of the Business Ownership Initiative toward small business emergency assistance. Expert coaches are available to offer guidance through free one-on-one coaching and access to loan capital programs.

The city and Indy Chamber are also working to help businesses through the submission process for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.