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New campaign aims to support Indy's small businesses online

Posted at 9:33 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 21:33:17-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Some businesses on Mass Ave. in downtown Indianapolis are slowly starting to reopen, but store owners say it could be awhile before they're able to turn a profit again.

Businesses in the area are coming together with a new campaign to support each other. The new initiative is called I Miss Mass Avenue and the goal is to help restaurant and shops in the area as they being to open back up.

"When I come down here at different times of day it is just almost eerie to see how few people are down here," Amanda Mauer Taflinger, owner of Homespun: Modern Handmade, said. "Our sales have been way, way, way down. We almost barely made enough money last month to pay rent."

Taflinger had to create an online store to sell her products.

"People are not used to shopping with us through the online store so we haven't made nearly as many sales to keep us as much afloat as we need to be," Taflinger said.

Now that restrictions on in-person shopping are starting to ease up, she's hoping people remember why they loved shopping and dining on Mass Ave. She and other businesses in the area are taking part in an online campaign called I Miss Mass Ave.

"Positive reviews, ordering online, sharing opinions on social media, reminding people what great purchases you've made at local restaurants or shops," Taflinger said.

The goal is simple.

"To try and help stimulate, re-stimulate the reopening of Mass Avenue and all of the merchants and all of the restaurants and service providers along this general corridor of our great city," Kurt Phillips, of the Mass Ave. Merchants Association, said. "We all miss Mass Avenue a lot and we want everyone to come back strong."

"We are just excited to see our customers again, we are looking forward to being open again, looking forward to seeing our customers and getting some new people in here," Taflinger said. "I'm really excited to start seeing people being out on the Avenue again."

Homespun plans to open in the next week or so. They and other businesses said they plan on having disposable masks and hand sanitizer available. They're also deep cleaning and rearranging the store to help keep people safe.