Businesses across Indiana close permanently due to financial impact of pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS — Businesses across Indiana are closing permanently during these unprecedented times as employers feel the financial impacts of Indiana’s stay-at-home order. 

One local treasure in the small town of Clayton is now closed for good. Clayton Cafe has been open to customers for decades. In early April, its current owners made the difficult decision to shut its doors. 

“We were hopeful that we [could] make the transition from a dine-in full service restaurant to a carryout operation,” said Jennifer Rash, a co-owner of Clayton Cafe. 

Rash and her husband explained that the carryout model only brought in about 10% to 30% of their typical sales in a week. They offered carryout for about two weeks until the restaurant was closed. 

“We knew that you can’t keep going on that way forever,” Rash said. “You can’t keep taking losses forever.”

It’s a challenge restaurants across the state are facing. The Stacked Pickle shut down its locations too. The company cited on-going restrictions and the loss of a month and a half of business. 

Patrick Tamm, the president and CEO of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association, claimed data shows 2% to 6% of restaurants in the state will permanently close. 

“You have to remember, 66% of restaurants throughout the entire state were not open under any circumstance,” Tamm said. “They were not open for carryout or delivery.”

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development is tracking layoffs and closures too. An online database shows a number of larger companies have filed WARN notices since March. If the employer has a certain number of employees or is laying off a certain number, they must file a WARN notice. 

Some notices filed cite COVID-19 as the reason for the closure or layoffs. 

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