The city of Indianapolis has begun accepting applications for a grant program designed to help local restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. The $11 million Hospitality Establishment Lifeline Payment, or HELP, program will provide eligible businesses up to $25,000 in assistance.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett first announced plans for the program at the beginning of the month. Those who receive grant funds will be able to use them for rent or mortgage costs from April to December of this year.
“These establishments are the lifeblood of the local economy,” said Capital Improvement Board Executive Director Andy Mallon. “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.”
To be eligible for the grants, an establishment must be a private, for-profit, independently-operated business in Marion County with at least one owner residing in Indiana or the parent company headquartered in Marion County.
The business must be a restaurant, bar, or live entertainment venue subject to Marion County’s FAB tax and has paid FAB taxes between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.
Additionally, the business must have been in operation in Marion County prior to February 15 of this year and forced to shut down or operate at reduced capacity by the state or local government because of a public health order. The business’ revenue must also have been negatively impacted by at least 10% due to the pandemic.
The mayor’s office says $2.5 million of the $11 million allocation will be set aside for businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, or people with disabilities.
The city has also set aside an additional $1 million to help businesses affected by the public health orders to be reimbursed up to $2,500 for expenses related to winter preparedness, such as the purchase of heaters for outdoor seating.
“We’re grateful for the City’s assistance for local bars and restaurants,” said Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association Chief Executive Officer Patrick Tamm. “But we know that their success depends on more than relief funds. We encourage all residents to continue to patronize their favorite spots to show their support.”
The application period will run until November 6. You can find more information by clicking here.