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INDIANAPOLIS — The clock is ticking for restaurants in Indianapolis and across the state. For these restaurants, a new COVID-19 relief package is desperately needed.

“If we get thrown into not having this relief package, thousands of restaurants will close,” says Patrick Tamm, President of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association. He spoke to WISH-TV about the state of Hoosier restaurants.

A new COVID-19 relief package represents a chance, a hand to pull restaurnats up and help them carry on. Tamm says “we’re trying to find a bridge to March, February maybe, we need that [relief package] today.”

When it comes to downtown Indianapolis, an area driven by conventions and events that draw thousands of people each year, restaurants who don’t see that convention foot traffic are struggling to operate.

“Downtown specifically, is convention driven and business-driven, we do have some great regulars but we’re a pretty big restaurant, we seat 200 normally, before pandemic and without conventions, we’re just not able to fill those seats,” says Connie Lee, general manager of Mikado.

Lee tells WISH-TV that she tried to open Mikado during lunch hours, but in a year so heavily affected by the pandemic, there simply wasn’t enough business to justify staying open for lunch.

Michael Morgan, general manager of Tony’s Seafood and Steak tells WISH-TV the pandemic will leave a lasting impact on several businesses in Indianapolis and throughout the state.

“A lot of the businesses that aren’t quite making it aren’t going to reopen again,” says Morgan.

That’s something Lee can agree with.

“People just close, just fade away and its sad and its happened so much and it breaks my heart,” Lee tells WISH-TV.

Patrick Tamm says many restaurant owners are feeling the same way they felt in the spring.

“I have to answer to a couple of their [restaurants] CFO’s, and the panic is, it’s April again.”