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Restaurant, bar owners affected by COVID-19 can now apply for city’s HELP grants

A bar in Indianapolis reopens during the coronavirus pandemic. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Owners of Marion County bars, restaurants and live entertainment venues can now apply for the city’s Hospitality Establishment Lifeline Payment (HELP) grant program for rental assistance.

The application opened Wednesday and will close on Nov. 6.

The $11 million HELP grant program is designed to reimburse local businesses for unpaid rent or mortgage costs between April and September of this year, and future rent or mortgage costs from October through December.

Each establishment can receive up to $25,000.

Out of that $11 million, $2.5 million will be reserved for business owners that are minorities, women, people with disabilities and veterans.

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Mayor Joe Hogsett first announced details of the grant program on Oct. 1. Businesses must meet the following requirements in order to receive the grant:

  • Must be located in Marion County
  • Must have been open before February 15, 2020
  • Must have experienced at least 10% loss in profit because of COVID-19
  • At least one of the business owners must live in Indiana, or the parent company is headquartered in Marion County
  • Must be a business subject to Food and Beverage taxes
  • Must have been affected by state or local health orders, such as a shut down or reduced capacity limits

“These establishments are the lifeblood of the local economy,” the city’s Capital Improvement Board executive director, Andy Mallon, said in a press release. “Our convention and tourism industries are made possible by the hospitality industry. By supporting our bars, restaurants, and live venues now, we’re putting Indianapolis in a position to recover more quickly from the pandemic.”

Businesses are required to submit their applications alongside their landlord or property owner.

To review all eligibility requirements and to apply, business owners should visit response.indychamber.com/helpgrants.

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