INDIANAPOLIS – Below are remarks given by Indy Chamber President Michael Huber at the March 16, 2020 Indianapolis City-County Council meeting:
“Nearly 85% of Indy Chamber members are small businesses, and as we prioritize the health of our community, we must also prioritize the health of our local economy. With the help of our Board, led by the President and CEO of IU Health Dennis Murphy, we are focused on helping small businesses make the most informed decisions as they navigate this changing economic terrain. In our hearts, these small businesses are what makes Indy…well….Indy. The restaurants, gathering places, music venues and shops where we celebrate and come together during hard times just the same. Many of those are shuttered today and for the coming weeks.
“Let me be clear – the sooner we get past this, the sooner we can focus on recovery both in our community and our economy. Things are very fluid and our immediate focus is on the health and safety of our members who lead our business community in the region, their employees, and the broader community.
“We have strongly advised everyone to heed advice of healthcare experts and various government directives. We are monitoring changing state and federal policies regarding SBA activity and lending, as well as the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services.
“Many of our members’ first thoughts are focused on the impact on their employees and the employees’ families and what can be done to assist them. We applaud our government leaders for addressing evictions and will work with commercial landlords to see what is possible going forward regarding lost revenue and rent. We are proud to see utilities making accommodations for those who may struggle to make ends meet.
“We at the Chamber are also taking swift action. This afternoon, the Indy Chamber launched a new online platform and service offering today for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indy Chamber Rapid Response Hub is a website and a service that provides answers to frequently asked questions from entrepreneurs, business owners, and employers covering a number of key topics including finance, business operations, employee support, and more.
“It also includes a question intake form to route small businesses to the information, resource, or service provider they need via a network of subject matter experts and community connectors. Again, check out response.indychamber.com.
“The Hub will be updated daily as new information becomes available and we are grateful for the support of a growing number of civic organizations, including the IU Kelley School of Business at IUPUI, which will engage faculty, students, and alumni to expedite answers to business inquiries, Mayor Joe Hogsett’s leadership in this challenging time, the United Way, which is driving millions of dollars to individuals in need; EmployIndy, the Arts Council and many others.
“Indy Chamber business coaches are also available for remote business coaching sessions and the Indy Chamber is able to offer loans for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Further, we expect new tools and resources to be made available in the coming days.
“We are also engaging our financial institutions for what’s next, and how we can come together in what we hope is a successful recovery. Visit response.indychamber.com for more information.”