• WBST 92.1 FMMuncie
  • WBSB 89.5 FMAnderson
  • WBSW 90.9 FMMarion
  • WBSH 91.1 FMHagerstown / New Castle
Indiana Public Radio, a listener-supported service of Ball State University

Indiana Fireworks Companies Hit Hard By COVID-19 Cancellations

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Business, Government, Health
COVID-19 has been “totally devastating” for some Hoosier fireworks companies. (Pixabay)
COVID-19 has been “totally devastating” for some Hoosier fireworks companies. (Pixabay)

COVID-19 has been “totally devastating” for some Hoosier fireworks companies. One company owner says his business needs help to survive – and a proposal from U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) could be the answer.

Mike Cartolano runs Melrose Pyrotechnics, which puts on fireworks shows. He said Fourth of July events account for 75 percent of his business – and he’s lost most of it due to COVID-19.

“In 2019, Melrose did 340 firework events during the Independence Day season,” Cartolano said. “And this year, we have less than 60, at last count.”

Cartolano said he used the federal Paycheck Protection Program to keep his employees up to now. But he says without further help, he’ll have to lay off 70 percent by the end of July.

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana 2020 Two-Way. Text “elections” to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and the 2020 election.

That’s where Young’s RESTART program comes in. He said it would provide loans to the hardest hit businesses, with forgiveness based on the amount of revenue lost.

“The small businesses that form the backbone of our economy are counting on this assistance,” Young said.

Young said he hopes his program will be part of the next federal relief package.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.