Food and beverage tax support for pandemic-impacted businesses continues, advisory group to meet Tuesday

Last Wednesday, Monroe County commissioners awarded about $21,000 more in grants to pandemic-affected tourism-related businesses outside the city limits of Bloomington. That brings the total amount awarded by the county to $266,442.

bordered R-OUT Unemployment Initial Claims Monroe County 2008-2020 June 14 output
In the last three weeks for which numbers are available, initial claims for unemployment filed in Monroe County are 368, 354 and 363. That’s  still around the top levels seen during the 2008 downturn.

The food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC), has recommended that the county can use up to $400,000 of such tax tax proceeds to help businesses recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Bloomington has a corresponding loan program for up to $2 million of food and beverage tax proceeds. Through last Wednesday, the city’s loan numbers looked the same as the week before—$939,600 has been awarded to 34 businesses. All of the submitted applications had been processed as of last Wednesday.

Bloomington has loaned out another $247,170 for pandemic-relief using funds from the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association.

On Tuesday at 3:15 p.m., the FABTAC will hold a meeting, when it’s possible that they’ll approve an expansion to the county’s grant program.

At their June 3 meeting, county commissioners discussed a request that the FABTAC allow the purpose of the COVID-19 relief program be expanded geographically. The idea is that grants could be awarded to an entity located physically within the Bloomington city limits, but which serves the entire county. The wording of the resolution by the commissioners reads:

The county commissioners request to expand its current requests to use $400,000 from the County’s Food and Beverage Tax Fund to include entities whose purpose and mission is to support the entire County in tourism related endeavors.

The request from the commissioners to the FABTAC stems from an inquiry made by the Monroe County History Center.

The June 9 meeting of the FABTAC was cancelled, but the planned June 16 gathering could wind up approving the request.

At the June 10 meeting of the board of commissioners, board president Julie Thomas said that it’s not expected that additional grants can be made after the end of June. So she encouraged businesses that might be eligible to go ahead and apply.  The grants are tied to the health emergency that’s been declared by the governor. Thomas also encouraged businesses that had already received grant awards to apply for additional funds if they need additional assistance.

One of the business awarded a grant last Wednesday had previously been awarded one. The $14,218 awarded last Wednesday to Sycamore Farm, added to the $5,000 already awarded, brought the event venue’s total to $19,218. Commissioner Penny Githens said Sycamore Farm was using the grant for rent and utilities.

Sycamore Farm relies on large gatherings for its business, like graduations and weddings, Githens said. The most recent Monroe County health order, issued by health officer Thomas Sharp on June 12, effective through July 3, limits gatherings to 100 people.

The smaller limit for gatherings is one of two ways that Monroe County’s health order is more restrictive that the Indiana governor Eric Holcomb’s Back on Track plan. The other narrowing restriction is that bars keep their bar supplies—condiments, glassware, napkins, straws and the like—protected from contamination by customers.

The other business awarded a grant last Wednesday by county commissioners was Kenny’s Tavern in Ellettsville. Thomas said the tavern had been closed since mid-March. They’d tried carry-out service, but that had not been successful, Thomas said—the place is known as a gathering spot, not for its food. The tavern needs help with insurance, rent, utilities and re-stocking to prepare for re-opening, Thomas said.

City Loan Program

Borrower FAB BUEA Total
The Back Door $50,000 $50,000
Baked of Bloomington $50,000 $50,000
Cardinal Stage Company $50,000 $50,000
FARM Bloomington $50,000 $50,000
Nick’s English Hut INC $50,000 $50,000
Soapy Soap $50,000 $50,000
That’s the Rub $50,000 $50,000
The Atlas Ballroom $50,000 $50,000
Tonya’s Touch $50,000 $50,000
Trojan Horse $50,000 $50,000
Uptown Café $50,000 $50,000
Vanished Aesthetic $50,000 $50,000
Vibe Yoga $50,000 $50,000
The Chocolate Moose $40,000 $40,000
MJSB LLC. DBA: B-Town Diner $32,000 $32,000
WonderLab $30,000 $30,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters $25,000 $25,000
Big Time Trading $25,000 $25,000
PALS $25,000 $25,000
UnderConsideration $25,000 $25,000
Unveiled $25,000 $25,000
Bloomington Massage & Bodyworks $20,000 $20,000
Bloomington Playwrights Project $20,000 $20,000
Spiral Bodies $19,000 $19,000
DK Sweets $18,000 $18,000
Gather $18,000 $18,000
Lotus Pilates $16,500 $16,500
Dat’s Cajun Food & Btown Gyros $16,000 $16,000
Bloomingtea $15,000 $15,000
inBloom Eats & Juice $15,000 $15,000
K&P Global DBA O’Child Children Boutique $15,000 $15,000
Razor’s Image $15,000 $15,000
The Ritz Hair Studio $15,000 $15,000
The Art Venue $14,000 $14,000
Cherry Canary Vintage $12,500 $12,500
Bloomington Pets Alive $10,000 $10,000
Bloomington Salt Cave $10,000 $10,000
Landlocked Music $10,000 $10,000
Wild Orchid Fitness & Dance $10,000 $10,000
Bloomington Stitchery $7,000 $7,000
Fraternal Order of Eagles $7,000 $7,000
Gaian Hands $7,000 $7,000
Balance Lifestyle Services $6,000 $6,000
Lash Envy $5,170 $5,170
Sew Secret Tailoring $5,000 $5,000
A.E.A Design & Apparel $3,600 $3,600
Totals $939,600 $247,170 $1,186,770


County Grant Program

GRANTEE Amount DATE Approved
Eagle Pointe (golf course, bar, venue) $23,000 2020-04-29
The Golf Club at Eagle Point $22,500 2020-06-03
Port Hole Inn $20,000 2020-04-29
Knightridge, Inc. $15,274 2020-04-22
Sycamore Farm Bloomington, Inc. $14,218 2020-06-10
Whippoorwill Hill, LLC $13,500 2020-06-03
Cabin Restaurant and Lounge $10,500 2020-04-29
Fern Hills Club, Inc. $10,000 2020-06-03
Beaumont House (bed and breakfast) $10,000 2020-04-29
Whippoorwill Hill (farm event venue) $10,000 2020-04-29
Wee Willies West $10,000 2020-04-22
Big Sky Campgrounds $8,950 2020-04-22
Wampler House $8,900 2020-05-13
Cleaning Revolution $8,900 2020-05-13
Trailhead Enterprises, Inc. $8,528 2020-04-22
Sugar Daddy’s Cakes & Catering Cafe $8,000 2020-04-29
Kenneth Mobley, Inc. $7,100 2020-06-10
Back to Nature Cabins $7,000 2020-04-22
Rieman Properties $6,500 2020-04-29
Pili’s Party Taco $5,000 2020-05-20
Fishin’ Shedd $5,000 2020-05-13
Westbury Antique Market $5,000 2020-04-29
Sycamore Farms Bloomington, Inc. $5,000 2020-04-22
Terry’s Catering, LLC. $5,000 2020-04-22
TJV Balloons, Inc. $4,462 2020-05-01
Robert Woodling Rentals $3,800 2020-04-22
U’sta-B-New $3,000 2020-04-22
Dance Machine DJ Services $2,500 2020-04-29
Bloomington Pub Quiz $1,810 2020-06-03
Trivia with Skip $1,800 2020-04-22
On Pointe Pet Sitting Services $1,200 2020-05-13