DeVon: Grants, resources available to support small businesses during pandemic

Posted by: Allison Vanatsky  | Wednesday, June 17, 2020

STATEHOUSE (June 17, 2020) – As Indiana continues to get back on track, State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) said the state is dedicating nearly $44 million in federal funds to help small businesses and manufacturers impacted by COVID-19.

"Small businesses took a financial hit as a result of this pandemic," DeVon said. "From seeing less customers to temporarily shutting down services, local employers joined the many Hoosiers doing what they could to prevent the spread of the virus. This funding can help businesses work toward the ultimate goal of returning back to normal."

Through the federal CARES Act, $30 million has been dedicated to the Small Business Restart Fund. Hoosier small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and $5 million in annual revenue that experienced at least a 40% drop in revenue can apply for grants to cover expenses related to the public health crisis. DeVon said these expenses may include rent or mortgage payments, lease payments for real or personal property, utilities and safety investments like personal protective equipment and infrastructure improvements to keep employees and customers safe. According to DeVon, at least $5 million will be reserved for certified minority- and women-owned businesses. The deadline to apply for a grant is Sept. 30. For more information on this program, including additional eligibility requirements, visit backontrack.in.gov.

The Indiana Small Business Development Center will utilize nearly $3.7 million over the next 18 months to offer increased resources for Hoosier entrepreneurs and small businesses. DeVon said this funding will help provide no-cost services like counseling and training for local businesses impacted by COVID-19. Visit isbdc.org/indianacovid19smallbusiness for more information.

"The health and safety of employees and customers comes first for businesses reopening," DeVon said. "Taking the appropriate steps to ensure this care will require ongoing expenses businesses don't normally budget for, which is why this support is so important to keeping our economy running."

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. approved $10 million to launch the Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement program, which DeVon said will support technology and operational advancements in the manufacturing industry. Through this program, local manufacturers will be able to apply for support through the Smart & Advanced Manufacturing Focus Fund to invest in new developments. Manufacturing Readiness Grants will be available in July to companies committed to modernizing their operations or those investing in health care manufacturing technology. Additionally, a Smart Manufacturing Studio is being developed to provide lab space and access to state-of-the-art equipment to businesses so they can train employees, validate technologies and conduct third-party pilot manufacturing. More information can be found by visiting iedc.in.gov and searching "Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement."

DeVon said these resources are in addition to the Indiana Small Business PPE Marketplace, which currently provides masks, hand sanitizer and face shields to Hoosier small businesses at no cost. Visit backontrack.in.gov/ppemarketplace.htm for details.

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State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) represents House District 5, which includes portions of St. Joseph County.

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