Hancock County lawmakers: Bill supporting small business recovery heads to governor

Posted by: Andi Sommers  | Wednesday, April 14, 2021

STATEHOUSE (April 14, 2021) –  Legislation supporting jobs, employers and economic recovery by investing $60 million to expand the Hoosier Hospitality Small Business Restart Grant Program could soon be law, according to Hancock County lawmakers.

"Unfortunately, small businesses were some of the most negatively impacted by the pandemic and many have struggled or had to close their doors completely," said State Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield). "Expanding this grant program could prevent communities from losing more of these business, which fuel local economies and provide jobs, goods and services to their area."

Cherry said many businesses across the state have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, especially those in the tourism and hospitality industry, with the National Restaurant Association reporting Indiana restaurant sales dropping 37 percent from August 2019 to 2020. State Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) said this legislation would provide eligible small businesses a grant to cover a portion of business and payroll-related expenses.

"As a small-business owner, I understand the amount of stress the pandemic has added on employers," Eberhart said. "Balancing the safety of customers and employees while facing decreased revenue and a need for PPE has made it difficult to navigate this past year, and many had to learn along the way. This legislation will help our small businesses hit hardest by these challenges to get back on their feet."

If signed into law, eligible recipients would include those whose revenue is $10 million a year or less, fewer than 100 employees as of Dec. 31, 2019, and they must show average monthly gross revenue loss of at least 30%. Grants couldn't be more than $50,000 to any individual business. Eligible small businesses may apply until Dec. 31, 2021, but are encouraged to apply and submit expenses for reimbursement as soon as possible, as grants will be issued in the order they are received until funding is exhausted. For more information about the grant program, visit backontrack.in.gov.

"Many small-businesses owners across our state have suffered tremendous losses over this past year because they were forced to either close or operate on a much smaller scale to help slow the spread of COVID-19," said State Rep. Chris Jeter (R-Fishers). "This extended grant program could provide employers some much-needed relief as they aim to come back stronger than ever."

Jeter said this grant program would be an extension of the already existing Small Business Restart Program and would continue to be administered by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. Originally, the program was started with federal COVID-19 relief dollars.

If necessary, this legislation would allow the IEDC to submit adjusted criteria businesses must meet to qualify for a grant, which the State Budget Committee must approve. For more information about the grant program, visit the IEDC's website at iedc.in.gov and click on the orange "COVID-19 Updates & Resources" banner at the top of the web page.

House Enrolled Act 1004 heads to the governor for consideration as a new law. For more information, visit iga.in.gov.


State Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) represents House District 53,
which includes portions of Hancock and Madison counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

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.

State Rep. Chris Jeter (R-Fishers) represents House District 88,
which includes portions of Marion, Hamilton and Hancock counties.
here to download a high-resolution photo.