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

Posted by: Lydia Kirschner  | Monday, June 29, 2020 3:39 pm

STATEHOUSE (June 29, 2020) – As Indiana continues to get back on track, State Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) said the state is dedicating nearly $44 million in federal funds to help small businesses and manufacturers impacted by COVID-19.

"Our state and economy are slowly getting back on track, but many businesses still face challenges," Eberhart said. "There are a number of programs dedicated to helping them get through this, it's just a matter of determining which best serves the unique needs of your business at this time, and meeting key application deadlines."

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. Eberhart 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 Eberhart, 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. Eberhart 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.

"This funding could help many businesses stay afloat as Indiana continues to recover," Eberhart said. "The resources and support available here will be an asset to local entrepreneurs as well as Indiana's economy, which is fueled by our small businesses."

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. approved $10 million to launch the Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement program, which Eberhart 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."

Eberhart 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. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) represents House District 57,
which includes Shelby County and portions of Bartholomew and Hancock counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.