Johnson County lawmakers highlight resources for Hoosier workers, employers impacted by COVID-19

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Wednesday, April 1, 2020 11:31 am

STATEHOUSE (April 1, 2020) – Johnson County lawmakers encourage 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, 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.

"While we are taking steps to slow the spread of this virus, life does not stop and continues to move forward," said State Rep. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland). "Hoosier workers and business owners are getting some relief now to bridge financial gaps they may be facing. I continue to pray for our community and state as we navigate these unprecedented times."

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.   

"Hoosiers are understandably anxious about the major disruptions this pandemic has caused to our health and financial security," said State Rep. Chris May (R-Bedford). "Expanding benefits at this time is essential to ensuring we have what we need to face the uncertainty."

Indiana waived the one-week waiting period for payment of unemployment benefits, and it is retroactive to March 8, 2020. Qualified claimants can typically receive benefits for up to 26 weeks, but this has been extended by an additional 13 weeks.

State Rep. Dollyne Sherman (R-Indianapolis) 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.

“The hardships our state and nation are currently facing are tough, but temporary,” Sherman said. “This help for Hoosier workers and employers from Indiana and the federal government is important to keep our economy afloat and prepare businesses to return to normal operation when the time comes.”

State Rep. John Young (R-Franklin) 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.

“If you need assistance, help is available now,” Young said. “We are fortunate our state is in a financial position to provide critical support to Hoosiers to help navigate this public health emergency. Our communities are tough, and they will persevere during these difficult times.” 

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. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland) represents House District 58,
which includes a portion of Johnson County.

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State Rep. Chris May (R-Bedford) represents House District 65, which includes all of
Brown County, most of Lawrence County and parts of Monroe, Jackson and Johnson counties.

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State Rep. Dollyne Sherman (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 93,
which includes portions of Marion and Johnson counties.

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State Rep. John Young (R-Franklin) represents House District 47,
which includes portions of Johnson and Morgan counties.

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