Indiana businesses frustrated with rising COVID-19 count

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INDIANAPOLIS – Some Indiana business owners say they are frustrated with this latest wave of COVID-19, with many seeing their sales suffer.

“We were going back to what we consider to be normal,” said Danielle Cooney, owner and manager of Small Batch Soups by Soupremacy in downtown Indianapolis.

Up to 85% of Small Batch Soups’ business comes from nearby offices and conventions during lunchtime, Cooney said. But recently, some people who were working full time in these offices are working from home.

“Today has been an exceedingly slow day,” she said. “I can’t make a week or a month of a day like today.”

Small Batch Soups’ business has fallen by at least 25% since June, Cooney said.

Cooney said she wanted to see more people get vaccinated if they could, adding that she would not be against another mask warrant to help slow the spread of COVID.

“I just want people to be aware of small businesses that are struggling to survive this,” she said. “We’re 18 months old and it’s a struggle every day.

Executives in the business community say Cooney isn’t the only one feeling this.

“They are tired, they are frustrated and they feel like the unvaccinated population is perpetuating this pandemic unnecessarily or perpetuating this pandemic at an unnecessary level,” said Kevin Brinegar, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Indiana.

Brinegar said many of its member business owners feel much less optimistic about the economy compared to early summer.

“They want people to voluntarily go for the vaccine,” Brinegar said. “And they want it to help eliminate this epidemic. “

Last week, federal pandemic unemployment benefits ended and the Biden administration announced extended loans for small businesses. Brinegar said he hopes these changes will make a difference, but added that it was not a silver bullet for businesses facing challenges.


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