Letter from the Director

“In this trying time we encourage everyone to patronize those restaurants & businesses restrained by this pandemic. We know that many of them will be suffering as this continues on. Tip extra. Give extra. Be the light in others’ darkness.”- Board President Marshall Farmer
It is in times like these that I remember why I chose Alexandria. While this ‘pandemic’ is certainly unprecedented, at least in my short 32 years of life, the community support, encouragement, and love that has been found all over is lifting my spirits. I hope it is for you as well.
I have had many tough conversations with members who are scared right now. Scared for their livelihood, the health of their employees, and our community. I’ve shared before that I grew up in a family of small business owners. I remember tough conversations around our dinner table when things didn’t look so great. I saw the stress it put on my grandparents. I can’t say that I’ve exactly been in your shoes, but I can certainly empathize with the tough decisions you are facing right now. Please remember, you are not alone. There are many business owners in this community, millions across the country facing this exact crisis. We, as well as many others, are here to help you.
What we are doing for Alexandria, and our Members, will be the equivalent of business wellness calls. During which we will identify the areas that require improvement, and assist in getting you connected to the proper resources currently available, as well as keeping you abreast of the continually developing information from the Small Business Association (SBA).
In this very informative Community Update, we will try to provide the most information and an ease of access to resources. If we have left anything out, given that there is so much going on, and that it will change daily, please contact Ashley at 765.748.2550 or director@alexandriachamber.org.
In short, we’re all in this together, Small Town USA. We have a community of helpers, organizers, and those that just do good. We shall weather this storm.
I have HOPE for Alexandria, I HOPE you do as well.
From Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. Tolkien:“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

This is not an easy road we are walking together, and it will undoubtedly get tougher before it gets easier. But I encourage you to take a moment to envision the future. We will emerge from this. We will get through it. I believe it with my whole being. We’ll talk again soon! Until then, Onward!

~ Ashley O.
If you know of an entrepreneur or business that has been or anticipates being impacted by the coronavirus, please ask them to complete this form President Trump has allocated $50 billion to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. For Hoosiers to gain access to this funding, we need to collect small business economic impact data from every county in Indiana so that Governor Holcomb can declare an economic injury disaster. Information obtained from this form will only be used to assist in requesting an economic injury disaster declaration from the SBA and identifying greatest areas of need.
If you are looking for information and guidance, we suggest you visit the following links:Indiana Department of Labor COVID-19 Guidelines and FAQs
State of Indiana COVID-19 Response
Small Business Administration Guidance for employers
Webinar: COVID-19 Guidance for Individuals & Employers, presented by the Indianapolis Bar Association
SBA Economic Disaster Loans
COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing Information
Department of Labor (DOL) Compensation Program
“Effective today: The library will be closing starting Wednesday, March 18th. We tentatively hope to reopen on April 6th.
I’m sure you all saw this coming and know why we have to do this. We love serving our patrons and community. Please understand this was not a decision that was made lightly. The health and safety of our patrons and staff is our utmost priority.
Here are some important things you need to know!
1. Our digital content and resources are up and going strong! All you need is your library card to check out Libby, OverDrive, and Hoopla. If you need some assistance in signing up for these services, check out the link below to watch two quick instructional videos! https://www.alexlibrary.net/my-library
If you are having issues with your card, please don’t hesitate to send an email to swallace@alexlibrary.net and we will get your account matters straightened out so you can use these services!
2. Our WiFi capabilities extend outside of our building and will remain on 24/7. There are no passwords required to connect to our wifi and there are no time restraints!
3. Our book drop will remain open. All items are currently not due back until April 28th. No fines or fees will be accrued at this time under any circumstances.
4. Cabin fever is a very real thing! We are going to try to help ease this to the best of our abilities! Stay tuned for crafty videos, and other interactive activities you can do with your family from the comfort of your own home. We hope to post new videos every week!
These are unprecedented times but we have a wonderful and strong community and we appreciate our library supporters! All of the staff here at AMPL are looking forward to being able to provide our services to you all again. (Hopefully sooner rather than later!) Until then, please stay tuned in for further updates!”
-Sarah J. WallaceDirector | AMPL
Look into Business Interruption insurance-The organizers of all those canceled big conferences- such as South by Southwest- almost certainly have insurance to cover their losses. But it is unlikely that most of the affected SMALL BUSINESSES – restaurants, caterers, party venues, hairdressers and so on- have such insurance. Ask your insurance broker about business interruption insurance to cover unexpected major events and see what qualifies for coverage. It may not cover this emergency, but you’ll be better prepared for the next time your business suffers similar economic losses.
What the “Small Business Bailout” Package Means for You? Are you a small business owner struggling in this pandemic? You, like many other SMALL BUSINESSES owners, can get help as a result from the Small Business Financing and Investment Act of 2009.Also known as the “Small Business Bailout Act,” this much-needed funding was welcome relief to many business owners who watched as corporate giants such as AIG, JP Morgan, and dozens of national banks received billions in bailout funds. Now, 44 billion has become available for small businesses owners like you to help keep your business afloat and sustainable for the future.
Click on Link Below for more InformationSBA to Provide Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19)
NOTICE: Unemployment Insurance InstructionsINDIANAPOLIS (March 16, 2020) – The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is reminding Hoosiers that applying for unemployment insurance benefits is completed electronically. Hoosiers can apply on a computer or smart phone.For more information on unemployment insurance, visit unemployment.in.gov. There, Hoosiers can find the Claimant Handbook, Frequently Asked Questions, a link to online filing and more information. Please visit this site frequently with updated information.Contact: dwdmedia@dwd.in.gov
About the Indiana Department of Workforce DevelopmentDWD serves the worker and the employer to ensure workplace success. DWD is committed to innovating and invigorating Indiana’s economic future by providing WorkOne Career Centers, Unemployment Insurance, Labor Market Information, Regional Workforce Strategies and Professional Training. Through these services, DWD is able to develop a premier workforce that enables Indiana employers to flourish and entices businesses from outside our state to relocate to Indiana.
How to Apply for Bailout Money for Small Businesses. The federal government has provided bailout money to assist the many struggling small businesses throughout the United States. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) , the federal government has allotted $730 billion for that organization to assist small business owners in keeping their companies afloat. This funding is primarily available for the SBA to insure or underwrite loans for small businesses. Tapping into the federal bailout money for small businesses is not as easy as picking up the phone and making a request, but with some time spent in research and plenty of patience and persistence, small business owners will be able to acquire available funding.
Contact your LOCAL OFFICE of the Small Business Administration. The Federal bailout money for small businesses will ultimately pass through banks and other lenders, but the SBA can provide the information you need on how to apply for it. The SBA will be responsible for underwriting small business loans (in the same way that the Federal Housing Administration underwrites housing loans), so you will need to start there. Take the time to visit the local office in person, as you will be much harder to ignore and more likely to receive useful information.
Request a list of approved banks or lenders for SBA loans. The SBA underwrites the loans, but the banks provide the actual loan packages. The workers at your local SBA can tell you more about the banks to which you can apply and the loan options that will be best for your business.
Contact the bank to find out about small business loans. Let the bank know that you are applying through the Small Business Administration, and make sure the loan package reflects this underwriting. For instance, an SBA-backed loan should have reduced or eliminated fees, as well as SBA guarantee for as much as 90 percent of the loan.
Apply for an SBA-insured loan. Do not complete or sign the loan application until you are sure that the loan is the best for your business and reflects your business’s ability to make the necessary payments.
Even though the loan is backed by the SBA, you will still be responsible for making payments. If you default on the loan, the SBA will pay the remainder, but defaulting on a loan can ruin your business’s credit for a number of years. Only take out a loan if you feel confident that your business can support it. The purpose of the federal bailout money for small businesses is to provide loan options to businesses that might not be eligible for loans under banking requirements. It is not, however, intended as a “freebie” to keep small businesses going.
Local Restaurants open for Carry Out & Businesses
Rachel’s Hi-way Cafe
Karma Kitchen Food Truck
Wholesale Connection
Great Wall Restaurant
The Curve
Pizza Hut
John’s Diner
Pizza King – Alexandria and Tipton Indiana
Casey’s General Store
Small Bites Bistro
Tillies Icon
El Chile Poblano
Ousley’s Harvest Gardens
Soap & Sunshine Apothecary
Vintage Road Candles
Harvest Supermarket
Horners Midtown Market
The Wiggery
Dev’s Deep Fried Madness
Floors, Doors & More – Below Wholesale Materials
The Carpet Store
The DJ Booth
Key & Son Feeds
Picture Perfect Auto Body
DeVoe Chevrolet
For Menu’s Check out our localThe Ugly Crier by Sandy Erskine’s Post
For More Information of Local BusinessesCheck out our Website#monroecommerce #smalltownusa #givelocal #keepcalmandcarryout
Michael Huber is the president and CEO of the Indy Chamber. (photo courtesy of the Indy Chamber)
Chamber to Assist Small Businesses Amid Virus with Online HubMonday, March 16th 2020, 7:59 PM EDTUpdated: Monday, March 16th 2020, 8:59 PM EDTBy Alex Brown, Assistant Managing Editor
INDIANAPOLIS – In response to the growing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indy Chamber has launched an online platform designed to assist small businesses. The Indy Chamber Rapid Response Hub provides answers to frequently asked questions from entrepreneurs, business owners and employers who may be impacted by the coronavirus, as well as local and state directives aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. Chamber Chief Executive Officer Michael Huber said there was a need to help businesses navigate the ever-changing situation.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Huber said the need for such a service became increasingly apparent.
“We are noticing just a lot of our members, a lot of businesses calling in saying, ‘How do I keep my employees safe? What should I do with hours and business continuity?’ and we decided that we needed to put up an information hub and a hands-on service to get to as many of those businesses as possible,” said Huber.
Huber says first and foremost, the hub connects business owners with the most up-to-date information, including the latest mandates and directives from government officials, which can change hour to hour. To help answer more complex questions, the chamber has tapped civic organizations such as the IU Kelley School of Business at IUPUI, which will have faculty, students and alumni help business owners with their inquiries.
“We’re getting questions like, ‘Can my business stay open right now? What would be the implications of me closing my doors for a period of a few weeks? Where can my employees go if they’re experiencing challenges?’ We just thought it was really important to make sure that they knew where they can take their questions and provide a very fast response of experienced folks to help them navigate these challenging times.”
Just last week, the National Federation of Independent Businesses detailed the results of a survey, which showed a majority of small businesses were not being impacted by the coronavirus. On Monday, Governor Eric Holcomb announced directives requiring restaurants, bars and nightclubs to close to in-person patrons, while Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett went further for Marion County by adding movie theaters, entertainment venues, gyms and fitness facilities to that list.
Huber says the impact to small businesses is growing.
“We are seeing a first wave of impacted small businesses; we’ve seen a lot of retail businesses, including restaurants. We’re seeing a lot of service businesses, both consumer and B2B services, who are now feeling the impacts of the losses of events. We’ve got employees who are being laid off or furloughed and (we’re) trying to help businesses think through those challenges. We’ve got businesses that need loans or capital to really get them by what looks like weeks of uncertainty.”
Huber says the Indy Chamber has some loan capital, including microloans, that can be made available to businesses. He says they’re also monitoring the possibility of the state and federal government making additional financial resources available through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Huber also touched on the topic of financial assistance in remarks Monday night to the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council.
“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.”
You can learn more about the Indy Chamber Rapid Response Hub by clicking here.