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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

June / July 2020

Evansville Business

Open for Business?

When Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the state’s first stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 23, local industries, whether deemed essential or not, knew it was the end of business as usual. Even as restrictions were eased and establishments could resume operations as the state entered Stage 2 on May 4, Stage 3 on May 22, and Stage 4 on June 12 of the Back on Track Indiana Plan, businesses learned that getting back to business wasn’t as simple as just reopening their doors.

Building Evansville

Walk in the Promenade

It’s rare to find 200 consecutive acres of land for development. And deciding to take on such an amount of land can be a risk. In 2007, just prior to the recession in the U.S., The Martin Group and its partners in Evansville saw opportunity in such a tract of land on the East Side of Evansville. Though a challenge, the group knew it would be worth it to develop this large area.

Back Talk

Johnathan Pope

Education: Bachelor’s degrees in communications and theater, Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, Michigan Resume: Associate executive director, YMCA of Saginaw (Saginaw, Michigan), 2007-2009; executive director and district executive director, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids (Grand Rapids, Michigan), 2009-2019; president and CEO, YMCA of Southwestern Indiana, 2019-present.

Business Front


Occasionally I want the opportunity to make some observations; this is one of those times.

Whole New Game

A massive University of Evansville logo, painted in the school’s colors of purple, white, and orange, looms behind home plate at the German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium. Set off by the green of the brand-new AstroTurf laid during recent renovations, it makes quite a statement piece for an “office.” UE baseball head coach Wes Carroll says it’s a dream come true.

Economic Contagion

Navigating the various stay-at-home orders and CDC guidelines can be confusing; however, trying to determine the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is even more of a challenge. We enlisted the help of Greg Wathen, president and CEO of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, to get a picture of the COVID-19 impact to our regional economy.

See The Light

Downtown Evansville will be a little brighter this summer. A new special occasion lighting system was installed on the trees lining Main Street by the Downtown Evansville-Economic Improvement District (EID) with help from Wilde Horticulture and financial support from the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Staying Strong

In March, business changed. With stay-at-home orders, people packed up and prepared for several weeks of working remotely. Joni Baker, however, continued reporting to her job in Downtown Evansville each day. “Everything during that time was all new,” says the Evansville native. “It changed the whole line.”

Bringing Relief

The novel coronavirus quickly spread throughout the world beginning last year, but the Evansville community acted fast. On March 27, the COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund of the Greater Evansville Region was formed through collaboration with the city of Evansville and local nonprofits, including the United Way of Southwestern Indiana, the Community Foundation Alliance, the Welborn Baptist Foundation, Old National Bank, and Vectren, a CenterPoint Energy Company. The collaborative effort has since grown to include strong representation and leadership from all five counties served.

Now Hiring

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari has added 250 additional positions to help with the park’s new virtual queuing inLine Reservation System and to support the enhanced cleaning procedures due to COVID-19. Holiday World also announced they will introduce additional “Santatizer” stations and widespread social distancing initiatives to ensure the safety of guests and team members.

Conversation Piece

EXTEND GROUP and VPS Architecture have partnered to launch a new podcast series, @530 on Main, hosted by EXTEND GROUP’s founder and CEO Shawn Collins and VPS Architecture’s Michael Davis. The series is geared toward professionals of all industries interested in the relationship between digital and physical space and how technology has impacted our lives.

Pizza Prize

Azzip Pizza was honored as a top 100 national fast-casual “Mover and Shaker.” The annual Mover and Shaker list honors the industry’s top restaurant brands, with Azzip in the 67th spot this year alongside other brands like Starbucks, Panera Bread, McAlister’s Deli, and Chipotle.


In Progress

Is there planned road maintenance this summer in Evansville? Though the COVID-19 virus affected several projects, the city has completed a number of stretches of paving on roads over the last few months. These include: