Allen County legislators highlight help available to Hoosier workers, employers impacted by COVID-19

Posted by: Jake Thompson  | Thursday, April 2, 2020

STATEHOUSE (April 2, 2020) – Allen County legislators are encouraging Hoosier workers and small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic to access recently expanded state and federal resources for help.

Under Indiana's temporary "stay-at-home" order, many businesses deemed not essential have laid off staff or cannot pay employees while they are shut down.

To help, State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) said Gov. Eric Holcomb expanded unemployment coverage to those impacted, including Hoosiers whose work hours were reduced, those under medical quarantine and employees who cannot continue to work because of lack of child care options.

"This is a difficult time for every Hoosier," Carbaugh said. "We're all facing new challenges that a few short weeks ago seemed unfathomable. Many Hoosiers are out of work and need assistance to get them through. Unemployment benefits could help make a tough situation a bit more bearable."

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Hoosiers should file for unemployment insurance if their employment has been interrupted or ended due to COVID-19, and their claim will be evaluated. Individuals must apply for UI benefits online, using a computer or smart phone at For questions, the state asks Hoosiers to review the Frequently Asked Questions, the Claimant Handbook or the online video tutorials before calling the 1-800-891-6499 helpline, which continues to experience a high volume of calls.   

According to State Rep. Dave Heine (R-Fort Wayne), Indiana waived the one-week waiting period for payment of unemployment benefits, and it is retroactive to March 8, 2020. Heine said thanks to the action of the federal government, unemployed workers who file and are approved will see an extra $600 per week for four months.

"We are doing what we can to help ease the burdens Hoosiers are feeling," Heine said. "We immediately started looking into unemployment benefit options to help sustain those who aren't working because of the coronavirus. Eligible applicants will now be able to access an additional 13 weeks of unemployment past the 26-week maximum. It's not a cure all, but in these unprecedented times every little bit helps."

State Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne), chair of the House Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee, said small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and nonprofits can receive up to $2 million in low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses, which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster's impact. The loan interest rates for small businesses and nonprofits are 3.75% and 2.75%, respectively, with terms up to 30 years.

"As a small-business owner with a large family, this situation certainly resonates," Morris said. "I recommend fellow small-business owners to seriously take a look at this program, and see if it can help them during this time."

He said businesses' merit rate/tax rate will not be impacted if they lay off employees due to the coronavirus.

For more information and to apply for a small business loan, visit Hoosiers can also contact 1-800-659-2955 or with additional questions.


State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) represents House

District 81, which includes a portion of Allen County.

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State Rep. Dave Heine (R-Fort Wayne) represents House

District 85, which includes a portion of Allen County.

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State Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne) represents House

District 84, which includes a portion of Allen County.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.