COVID-19 Small Business Owner Support Guide

We’ll be updating this page as we receive more information about resources available to our community of small business owners. Please email us any helpful information we can add below. – Editors

Last updated, March 26, 9:03am


COVID-19 concerns have forced hundreds of local Indianapolis business offices to close their doors temporarily relegating their employees to tele-commuting and working remotely. A hassle to be sure, but at least they are still getting a paycheck! But for some people, particularly in the service industry, or those with brick and mortar retail storefronts & entertainment establishments, the measures put in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus have meant a total loss of work and income. Restaurants, nightclubs, bars, performance venues, fitness facilities and other similar businesses have closed for the foreseeable future, leaving hundreds of people with no source of revenue. But not all is lost!


For those who have the means, it is vital that you continue supporting local retail and dining operations the best way you’re able. To help you, help your fellow citizens, we’ve begun compiling a list of local businesses who need your help, as well as some ideas of how you can be helpful. Read on!

  • A local coalition of sewing professionals and hobbyists is getting ready to launch Indy’s #millionmaskchallenge once details are approved by healthcare experts. If you’re interested in helping cut, sew or pickups/deliveries, complete this form.
  • Many stores and boutiques, such as Indy Reads, Silver in the City, Onatah, 8Fifteen & Boomerang BTQ have converted to online only sales. If you have a favorite boutique, go see if it has an online store and shop it now!! Please!!
  • Feeling generous AND fashionable? Check this out: Our friends at Vardagen just launched a new collection, suitably called The PNDMC Collection. 20% of all proceeds will be distributed to out-of-work creatives. More info here.
  • And our friends at VisitIndy are partnering with The Shop to sell tees where 100% of proceeds will be donated to the United Way and Arts Council of Indianapolis to help Hospitality workers in need.
  • Here’s a list of some of the eateries & coffee shops that are offering takeout, put together by our friends at Do317.
  • Here are a couple of lists of places that offer carry-out, delivery and special online offers, compiled by our friends at Yelp Indy!
  • Patachou Inc. has created a relief fund for their employees, Proceeds from all carry-out orders this week will go directly to their PEERS Fund (Patachou Employee Emergency Relief).
  • Want to give directly to the currently unemployed service workers, check out this spreadsheet of over 1000 of them, along with their Venmo account info, courtesy of Jeb Banner! (Hat tip: Indy Creative Mornings)
  • Another easy way to put cash directly into the pockets of small business owners is by buying gift cards to use when life returns to normal. A gift for you and a gift for them. Win/Win!
  • The Arts Council of Indianapolis, suggests the following supporting measures:
    • Donate tickets to any canceled events back to the organization instead of asking for a refund.
    • Donate directly to the arts and culture organizations and venues you value.
    • Provide payments and tips to individual artists as they share their work on social media.
    • Buy subscriptions, memberships, tickets, and gift cards from arts and cultural organizations.

Bottom-line is that the best way to keep our local economy going is to get off (they could use a break anyway!) and order directly from Indy-based retailers and restaurants. Don’t want to leave the house? Hire a local at Task Rabbit to grab it for you!



  • Lawmakers finally reached an agreement on the biggest stimulus package in US history. Under the plan, individuals who earn $75,000 in adjusted gross income or less would get direct payments of $1,200 each, with married couples earning up to $150,000 receiving $2,400 — and an additional $500 per each child. The payment would scale down by income, phasing out entirely at $99,000 for singles and $198,000 for couples without children.
  • Additionally, the federal Government has just mandated paid leave. Read the NYT story to see if you qualify.
  • If you need a bigger chunk of money to float your business, the U.S. Small Business Administration is providing targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been impacted. Apply for assistance here!
  • ADOBE just announced that they are suspending charging for Adobe Creative Suite for the next 3 months! Call 1.800.833.6687, press 1, 1, 2. There’s a huge wait so just tell the nice phone robot to call you back when they are free, and voila! (Hat tip: Christopher Whonsetler)
  • Facebook announced a $100 million dollar grant program for small businesses affected by the coronavirus. While you may not be able to apply for a few weeks yet, you should sign up for updates to be notified when applications open. (Hat tip: Amber Powers)
  • Kiva has expanded the eligibility of qualifying businesses, and is offering loans of up to $15,000 at 0%. Apply here.
  • Got student loans? Check out this first-hand account of a freelancer with federal student loans and how she dealt with her debt. Meantime, the Federal Government is looking into suspending payments on federal student loans for sim months.


  • The Arts Council of Indianapolis has a list of links and resources specific to artists. Additionally, they just announced the launch of a $225,000 Indy Arts & Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, the details of which can be found on The fund is taking applications for support immediately, and has also launched a GoFundMe to raise additional support.
  • Our friends at the Speak Easy, are compiling a super long list of all kinds of resources, including but not limited to Tips for Working from Home, e-friendly Kid Activities, and links to online Fitness classes. You can add your own suggestions to the list of resources.
  • Hiring agencies are waiting to hear from you! While public facing businesses have shut down, other companies remain open while implementing all the CDC health safety guidelines. It might be a long shot, but why the heck not, right? Check out Morales Group and other temp agencies for opportunities. Additionally, here’s a list of local companies that are currently hiring.
  • Indy Chamber launched the Indy Chamber Rapid Response Hub that provides answers to FAQs. You can review the FAQs as well as submit your own questions. The hub is being updated daily.


Surviving the pandemic with your sanity intact is going to take some work, but staying positive and looking for ways to be productive – whatever that word means to you – is key to coming out on the other side of this and still being able to string together a coherent thought. Some people are already starting to point out the “positives” or shall we call them the silver linings of the situation, like the fact that the environment is responding very positively to the cessation of all commercial activity. Others are exhorting their fellow man to enjoy the slow down, spend more time with loved ones and generally be grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity to “reset”. Whatever the case, below we’re going to share some stuff that we come across that’s giving us a positive boost and some motivation.

  • The CDC has an extensive list of suggestions & links for how to manage anxiety and stress.
  • Phil Powell, a professor at Kelley School of Business gave some advice for small business owners. suggesting they should prepare to open again mid-April and mid-May, project resilience as a leader, share information accurately, confidently and empathetically. He also urged, business owners to use this “pause” to build strategic strength and a stronger sense of community, preparing for recovery and doing the things that have been put off, such as rebranding, researching new marketing strategies, redesigning processes or products and fixing the things that have been on the back-burner. 
  • If holidays aren’t your speed, and you prefer Yeezy instead, how about 65 interviews with Kanye West?? That’ll make ya forget your troubles! (Hat Tip: High Snobiety) Bonus video: Kanye West Airpool Karaoke. “Am I taking the middle seat?”
  • Want to a laugh a little? We’ve got a whole big list coming your way soon, but meantime, we recommend this totally cringey and hysterically funny video of Channing Tatum grooming James Corden for Magic Mike.
  • Calling all Harry Styles fans! Our editors have elected their favorite Harry interviews. Collected for your viewing please here!
  • Need some ideas for what show to binge on next, peep our editors’ faves here!

COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. You can visit the CDC’s website for more information on symptoms, prevention and other resources. 

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One reply on “COVID-19 Small Business Owner Support Guide”
  1. Avatarsays: sandra Day

    Celebrate life childcare located at 11707 Pendelton pike 46236 317-826-0085 and 730 Fry Road Greenwood 317-882-6141 is open to help families that still need to work both oaklandon and Greenwood locations 6am-6 pm

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