Southern Indiana businesses will receive $750,000 in state grants

Southern Indiana businesses will receive $750,000 in state grants

(WAVE) - Actors performed in a socially-distanced theatre Wednesday afternoon. It was one of many performances that almost didn’t happen at the Derby Dinner Playhouse because of the coronavirus.

Actors performed in a socially-distanced theatre Wednesday afternoon. It was one of many performances that almost didn’t happen at the Derby Dinner Playhouse because of the coronavirus.
Actors performed in a socially-distanced theatre Wednesday afternoon. It was one of many performances that almost didn’t happen at the Derby Dinner Playhouse because of the coronavirus. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

“Even when we were getting ready to bring customers back into the mix, we had to change their seats, and change their dates and do social distancing, their tables were out,” owner and general manager Cynthia Knopp said.

When the dinner theatre closed on March 13, it was forced to cancel numerous shows, furlough employees, and implement new protocols to follow CDC guidelines. Knopp said the most significant impact was the loss of income.

“Our loss of income is at $2.5 million right now since March,” Knopp said. “That’s a huge amount of money for a small business.”

As a business owner, Knopp said she applied for the PPE loan with the state of Indiana. The Derby Dinner Playhouse was awarded the grant in the second round. She said it saved her business.

In April, more than $10 million were awarded to 61 areas that were affected by COVID-19. The lieutenant governor’s office announced another round going to Southern Indiana. Clarksville, Charlestown, and Jeffersonville will each receive $250,000.

“The types of businesses that we are allowed to give the grant money to comprise the majority of our retail, commercial space,” Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges said. “It will have a significant impact on our economy.”

The City of Charlestown is expected to award between 20 and 50 grants. Special consideration will be given to local restaurants and retail, as well as, minority and veteran-owned businesses.

The application process will open next week. Find the application here.

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