Business View Magazine June 2023

58 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 10, ISSUE 6 They assisted their local health department to help with pandemic-related communication and vaccination efforts, and they hosted vaccine clinics. As restrictions began to withdraw, they eased their way back into the live event space by offering socially distanced entertainment. Old National Event Plaza was able to keep up its funding throughout the pandemic shutdowns by applying for and receiving funding from the Cares Act thanks to their government activity, FEMA for their vaccination efforts, and the SBA through its shuttered vending operators grant program. “We continued to work on ways to serve the community in a different capacity, rather than generate face-to-face business opportunities or live entertainment,” Wallace says. “We still made sure things were happening. And at the end of the day, we were able to stay relevant and stay open during the entirety of the pandemic.” Being able to stay open, stay relevant and be successful is a driving force for the events center because of the impact it has on the surrounding community, Wallace says. “Providing opportunities for our local businesses, bringing in those multi-day tourists for business opportunities, for our conventions and conferences – it’s huge,” he says. “We’re getting people in from outside of the region, drawing them downtown into the local restaurants and businesses there. We become part of the master plan with our local convention and visitor’s bureau to be an economic center to bring those folks in here to fill our hotel rooms, to have them spend their discretionary income on our local business. Creating these opportunities to drive economic development not only downtown but the entire county is really where we fulfill our mission.” Old National Events Plaza works with several partners to bring their mission to reality. They work regularly with the Vanderburgh County Board of Commissioners, as well as the city destination management organization, Visit Evansville, and local hotels including the DoubleTree, Hyatt Place, and Holiday Inn Express.