INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The House approved a nearly $500 billion COVID-19 relief bill on Thursday. It gives more money to fund small businesses to financially rebuild but not everyone will get access.
13 News Anchor Andrea Morehead found an entrepreneur who was forced to close during the crisis on what would have been their first day in business. Despite the financial loss, he believes "the comeback" is just around the corner for everyone.
“If we put some couches, we put some big ol’ TVs, they will come," Ray Embry said.
But no one is coming right now to a former Marsh grocery store in Brownsburg. Embry, who is an entrepreneur, took all 28,000- square feet and flipped it into an interactive activity and gaming center called Press Play.
“We’re getting people up off the couches and really doing something. You got Nerf, you got basketball, you have virtual reality," he said. "We have something for toddlers where you’re interacting and stomping things on the ground."
To see a video of Press Play:
But on March 14, the day of the grand opening, Press Play had to push pause after the Governor mandated nonessential businesses close during the quarantine.
“All of a sudden COVID happened. I was sort of devastated," he said. "I didn’t think for a million years that businesses in the whole entire country would shut down, especially smaller businesses.”
It’s been a huge undertaking, especially financially. Embry used his savings, including his 401K to build his dream.
"This is the disadvantage for start-ups. It’s that when you go to a bank and you try to get a loan, you don’t have any history of profit, and most businesses or banks, even the government loans require you to be in business for two years," Embry said.
The financial loss is great.
"We had budgeted out and planned out for March to go live," he said. "So anything beyond that is like straining finances now."
But Embry is leaning on his faith for an even greater reward.
"My faith is telling me to just stick it out, things are going to be fine. At the end of the day, it’s between you, it’s between God, and it’s all about you being self-motivated and making sure that you put everybody on your back and go for it," he said.
So while all of us are taking a pause, Embry encourages other entrepreneurs to press on and use this time to think about how you want your life and business to come back stronger!
“In this lifetime, we all go through things," he said. "And I just want you to know that you can get through it if you just put your mind to it."
Embry said that he's been using this time to implement upgraded safety and sanitation protocols for Press Play, even before the Governor announced on Tuesday, April 21 that businesses should be making those plans now before reopening.
- Website: www.pressplaylounge.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pressplaygaminglounge/
- Instagram: @pressplaygaminglounge
- Twitter: @pressplaylounge
If you have a COVID-19 story of resiliency that can help empower all of us, visit wthr.com/thecomeback to send Andrea an email.