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Indiana Casinos Working To Help Local Communities Cope With COVID-19

Indiana casinos may be closed, but they are still actively working to give back to Hoosier communities with loans and donations.

Some casinos around the Hoosier State are stepping up to donate some much-needed supplies to their communities.

COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into all walks of life. Food banks across the country have been running critically low on supplies. Small businesses have closed and the demand for medical masks continues to increase.

Indiana’s casinos are doing what they can to help with all of those problems.

Caesars Foundation funding loans for small businesses

One Southern Indiana had already started a relief program for southern Indiana, and now Caesars is hopping on via Caesars Southern Indiana.

The initiative will make $10,000 loans available for businesses that need them in Clark and Floyd counties. That’s in addition to the information-based help One Southern Indiana was already providing.

Both organizations are working with the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana to distribute the fund.

The Caesars Foundation of Floyd County’s loan committee will be reviewing applications.

According to Jerry Finn, the executive director of the CFFC, speed is the priority here.

“When the idea was presented to us, the over-arching priority was to make the funds available as quickly and as fairly as possible. With the CFFC small business revolving loan fund committee already in place, and containing members from both Clark and Floyd counties, the choice to use the existing committee became the most logical and expedient choice.”

In order to be eligible, businesses need to have been open for at least two years.

The loans can be any amount between $2,500 to $10,000.

So far, the fund has received over $360,000 worth of donations. The city of New Albany and the town of Clarksville are two of the main donors.

Horseshoe Hammond and Four Winds donating masks and food

Northern Indiana is getting some extra relief of its own.

Horseshoe Hammond’s operators have donated 1,400 N95 masks to healthcare workers in Hammond Indiana.

Those medical masks have been in high demand since they help slow the spread of the virus.

A batch of 600 masks went to first responders in the city. Franciscan Healthcare received another 600, while the Hospice of Calumet Area landed the final 200.

Donating plenty of masks is a great gesture, but the casino’s efforts didn’t stop there.

Horseshoe Hammond had plenty of perishable foods lying around at its location since casinos shut down abruptly throughout the Hoosier State.

Rather than just dumping the extra food, Horseshoe Hammond opted to donate it to nonprofits. The casino sent over 30,000 pounds of food to Meals on Wheels and Campagna Academy.

The Four Winds Casino in South Bend found itself in the same situation.

Since it had so much food left over when casinos shut down, Four Winds donated nearly 7,500 pounds of dairy products, produce, baked goods, and fish.

Tribal Chairman of the Pokagon Band Matthew Wesaw issued a statement about donation.

“Given the recent closure of our casino locations and the uncertainly of the evolving Coronavirus situation, we felt compelled to donate these unused food items as soon as possible so they could be used by community members in need.”

Feeding America and Cultivate Food Rescue will be handling that South Bend donation for Four Winds.

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