Restaurant traffic has dramatically declined in the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing devastating economic effects across the nation. Restaurants and bars reported losing 48.1% of jobs from February to April, and according to a survey by the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association, more than 4 out of 10 restaurant operators in Indiana say, “it is unlikely they will be in business six months from now if current business conditions continue”. Even as local officials are lifting restrictions, with Marion County allowing 50% indoor capacity and 100% outdoor capacity, research conducted by the IndyEast Promise Zone through a small business survey says half of business owners in the Near Eastside reported they were uncertain if, and when, customers will feel comfortable returning safely.
The Near Eastside is famously known for coming together in collective action to improve and support the residents, organizations, and businesses that make wonderful assets to the more than 20 neighborhoods comprising the area. Ramifications from COVID-19 will likely be unknown or solvable for years to come, but there are solutions that can support local businesses in a safe way – like dining in or carrying out from the restaurants in your neighborhood. Even one small, hyper-local purchase can make a difference.
In response to the devastating economic effects of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the Near Eastside is initiating a two weeklong interactive campaign, geared for patrons and newcomers alike to purchase meals from restaurants in the area, take a picture of their meal, and share it on social media using #NearEastEats to enter your name in the online raffle. It’s important to use the hashtag as that identifies each participant and ensures Near East Area Renewal, the organization leading the effort, tallies the corresponding participants’ raffle tickets.
Each time you purchase a meal and share it on social media using #NearEastEats you also enter your name in the virtual raffle. The more times you participate, the more likely you are to win! On November 23rd, the day after the campaign ends, NEAR will announce the Top 5 winners. Awards are a range of gift cards to a Near Eastside restaurant of your choice.
Eat delicious food, support your local restaurants and bars, and possibly win some money doing it. From November 9th to November 22nd, we hope you participate and take advantage of #NearEastEats.
Here is a list of restaurants, bars, breweries, and distilleries in the Near Eastside.