To look at the pandemic impact on Indiana businesses, The Polis Center analyzed retail data made available by SafeGraph, which provides points of interest information on thousands of brands in the US and Canada. We looked at specific types of visits primarily to restaurants and groceries, analyzing the number of visits on a weekly basis staring on March 1. Prior to the March 23 shelter-in-place order, grocery stores experienced a rise in visits followed by a subsequent decline. What is interesting to note is that Hoosiers started practicing social distance well before any official order. There was a clear decrease in visits the second and third week of March. Grocery stores weathered the storm better than most businesses but there are notable differences in the number of visits by chain.
The Polis Center published research outlining the inequities that black Indy residents face and that contribute to increased positivity rates of COVID-19 for black residents. As you know, black residents of Marion County have tested positive for COVID-19 at a rate nearly twice that of white residents, like other cities across the US. Analyzing SAVI data, we learned that because of historic and systemic racism, inequities in our society put many black individuals at higher risk for exposure to the virus, having a serious case or dying, and suffering from the economic impacts compared to white residents. An interactive map allows you to view risk factors by Marion County neighborhood.