NOBLESVILLE — The doors are closed at many small businesses across central Indiana due to the coronavirus. It's causing owners to make tough decisions, like cutting their staff. Leaders in one Hamilton County community are stepping up to help.
On the square in downtown Noblesville, many of the small businesses remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city is offering these small businesses help through a grant program. More than 70 businesses have already applied.
Inside Moonshot Games in the heart of downtown Noblesville, the tables and shelves are now empty.
"We worked long hours. We put a lot of money and effort, blood, sweat and tears into building the business," Jayson Manship, owner of Moonshot Games, said. "And the situation is making it hard on everybody."
Manship opened the store two years ago. The vision was to create a place for people to come together and connect.
"Gathering is a big part of what we do," he said. "And we can't do that anymore."
Due to the pandemic, Manship has moved all of the board games into his garage. He created a website and is now delivering and shipping games out.
"We've had to cut some staff. We've had to ask for some help in rent," Manship said. "We had to do all sorts of things just to survive these moments."
In an effort to help local businesses like Moonshot, the city of Noblesville is taking applications for grants up to $10,000. The money will come from the city's rainy day fund.
"I don't think anyone would doubt me when I say that it is raining very hard," Mayor Chris Jensen said.
The goal, according to the mayor, is to help businesses make it through these tough times.
"We've got to get folks to that next point to keep their doors open, to maintain their payroll, to assist their own employees so when the economy opens again they are ready day one to flip the switch, we cut the ribbon if we have to and go from there," Jensen said.
Moonshot has applied for the grant. A committee will now decide which businesses receive the money. The deadline to apply is the end of the day Friday.