Open for Tourism Funds Awarded to Bar Botics
Terre Haute, Ind. – Another round of Open for Tourism funding has been awarded. Bar Botics, located in downtown Terre Haute, used the funding to expand to an outside patio. The arcade bar opened a little over a year ago in January 2021.
On Tuesday, representatives from Launch Terre Haute, the West Central Indiana Small Business Development Center and Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce made the announcement, along with Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett and Bar Botics co-owners Alec Thompson and Ethan Page.
The unique Star Wars themed patio area extends the bar’s theme, while also providing a visual attraction to downtown visitors.
“We were so excited to have the help to expand our business outside with an incredibly unique patio,” says Page. “The patio allows our patrons to enjoy the beauty of downtown in a fun way and so they can enjoy the wonderful weather throughout the year.”
The Open for Tourism initiative was designed in 2020 by Launch, the Chamber and Indiana Small Business Development Center to help the local business community prepare for increased tourism thanks to the planned development of a casino and newly opened Convention Center in Terre Haute.
“We’ve been saying ‘when this happens’ and ‘when this opens’ for years and it’s starting to come to fruition,” says Chamber Executive Director Kristin Craig. “The Open for Tourism program really had the foresight to prepare our businesses for what’s to come. This is just the beginning, as we’re looking for more participating businesses in the future.”
Federal Fine Foods + Coffee was the first to complete the ISBDC program and receive funding. Federal owners Kris and Gretchen Kraut used the funds to create a walk-up window for the business off of 7th Street.
“We are grateful for the consultations and investment in this new business,” Chef Kraut said at the time, just before opening the restaurant.. “Opening a new location in Downtown takes a lot of time, energy and money and to have that support and backing from these organizations gives us some added confidence as we move closer to the opening date.”
Since that funding award in September 2020, 22 businesses have completed the program, receiving free business assistance. In total six projects have received funding, that includes Bar Botics and Federal. The four additional projects have been funded and are under development, including a meditation garden, mural and outdoor family-friendly play area.
West Central ISBDC Regional Director Courtney Chipol says funding will vary based on the business and needs. Eligible businesses including bars, restaurants, retail and service providers, must apply for funding that could total up to $2,500. Chipol says Open for Tourism is seeking sponsor businesses and individuals to fund additional projects; six additional funding requests are expected in the next two to three months.
Interested businesses should learn more about the initiative and requirements, including being a for-profit business within the City of Terre Haute and be linked to tourism through a product or service. To be eligible for business development funding, businesses must be a member of the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce. Not all businesses who apply will be accepted into the program due to funding limitations.
For more information or to apply for the program visit growterrehaute.com.