Hoosier Small Businesses Face Tall Task in Reopening
Over the past week, VGTs for Indiana has been talking to business owners across the state, trying to better understand their current challenges and experiences as we slowly open back up after two-plus months of lockdown. One thing is clear: restaurants, bars, taverns and veterans’ clubs are struggling. In addition to recovering from little to no revenue for months, some business owners are trying to navigate a long list of guidelines to reopen that are sometimes unclear and that vary by community. Others will not be back.
Matt Przewoznik of Flat Rock Tap in Hammond, IN shared, “As I sit here and write this, I’m debating to myself if it is really worth opening back up with all the bills that have piled up in the last sixty-plus days and with all the red tape I have to go through to get the littlest of money to pay my employees so they can stay off my unemployment insurance.”
Gaming is scheduled to resume in the state on June 14, but small businesses will be left out because VGTs are not legal in Indiana. Having VGT machines in establishments could mean up to $60,000 per year in revenue for a bar, tavern or veterans’ club – money much needed to keep these businesses afloat as they recover from unprecedented shutdowns.
Indiana is a patchwork of small communities and these local businesses are the backbone. They provide employment, support the local community programs and youth sports leagues and provide a place for the community to gather. As such, they serve an important role in our economy and society. So why are they left out of this revenue producing activity?
Visit www.VGTsforIndiana.org to learn more about video gaming terminals and how you can get involved. Also see http://www.iamoa.org/coronavirus-covid-19-resources/ for links to resources to help navigate reopening your business.