A business mentor will recommend, “Spend some time working on your business rather than in your business.” This advice should be heard by every Indiana small business owner. Hoosier businesses need to spend a few hours each week seeking financial and management advice on how to help their business recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is a resourceful place to begin.
On June 17, Indiana’s Governor Eric Holcomb provided updates on Indiana’s efforts to support Indiana small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Governor announced a new partnership with the Indiana Black Expo, a statewide nonprofit organization committed to the social and economic advancement of Indiana communities, to increase access to economic and workforce recovery programs for minority employers. He is also encouraging small business owners to apply for funding available through state and federal programs. “Launching this new partnership with the Indiana Black Expo will expand the state’s capacity to provide critical COVID-19 resources to minority businesses and workers, while further positioning Indiana for long-term, sustainable economic recovery,” said Governor Holcomb.
Governor Holcomb approved $500,000 in federal funding made available through the CARES Act to support minority-owned businesses, entrepreneurs and communities negatively affected by COVID-19. The funding will enable the Indiana Black Expo to launch a targeted, statewide promotional campaign and develop community outreach programs to raise awareness of available resources and funding, enhancing participation in critical economic and workforce recovery programs.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is also a hub for Restate Grants. Since its official launch on June 3, Indiana has received initial applications from nearly 460 small businesses representing 69 counties for small business restart grants. The program, which committed at least $5 million of the $30 million allocated to the fund toward minority- and women-owned businesses, has received applications from 13 certified minority-owned businesses and 26 certified women-owned businesses. Eligible small businesses can seek reimbursement for up to 80% of qualified expenses, such as rent/mortgage payments, utilities, lease payments for real or personal property and safety investments, such as personal protective equipment and infrastructure improvements.
Thirdly, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is an Indiana resource for federal small business loans available through the Paycheck Protection Program until June 30. Administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Paycheck Protection Program provides forgivable loans to eligible small businesses and organizations impacted by COVID-19. If payroll is maintained for 26 weeks, the loans may be used to cover payroll, interest on mortgage obligations, rent or utilities. To date, 75,183 loans totaling nearly $9.4 billion have been awarded to Indiana small businesses.
With nearly $130 billion in funds remaining, small businesses are encouraged to apply before the deadline on June 30. Businesses may contact their nearest Indiana Small Business Development Center office for assistance in preparing applications or finding approved lenders.