South Bend Mayor Mueller: small businesses continue to 'take it on the chin'

NOW: South Bend Mayor Mueller: small businesses continue to ’take it on the chin’

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - South Bend Mayor James Mueller laid out the city's efforts and evaluations in the fight against COVID-19 during a virtual common council meeting.

"Small businesses continue to really take it on the chin, as well," Mueller said.

He said he expected city income tax revenue to take a six million dollar hit in 2021, and property, sales and gas tax revenue are all projected to be down next year.

Mueller said health officials told him they do not believe South Bend will be safe to reopen until mid to late May. He said the plan is for the number of new cases to decrease for fourteen days before any sort of reopening of the economy, but South Bend's new case count has risen in four of the last five days.

The city has made an effort to help those hardest hit by the virus. Mueller highlighted the fact that South Bend allocated $50,000 to a partnership with Food Bank Cultivate, Real Services, schools United Way and others to help with food distribution. He said the partnership is paying off.

"That partnership has delivered 168,841 meals in March and 256,186 meals in April so far," Mueller said.

In addition to that, South Bend is hosting another small business assistance fair Tuesday afternoon at 1:30.

The mayor did say that while South Bend has done work it can be proud of, more work still needs to be done.

"Some have said across the country we need two million tests per day to begin reopening significantly," Mueller said. "From a per capita standpoint, that would be about a thousand a day here in the county. So, we've got a ways to go on testing capacity and a lot of supply chain issues there."

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