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

Posted by: Josh DeFonce  | Wednesday, June 17, 2020 10:05 am

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

"As the state opens back up and Hoosiers remain cautious while following safety guidelines, small businesses may still struggle to remain open during this pandemic," Negele said. "A little help can make all the difference, and these federal funds provide the relief small businesses in Indiana need to continue operating."

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. Negele 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 Negele, 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. Negele 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.

"Many local businesses have seen their revenue decline because Hoosiers are staying home and social distancing, but they still have all the expenses that come with owning and operating a business," Negele said. "Now, on top of normal costs, employers are taking on additional financial burdens to keep employees and customers safe."

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

Negele 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. Sharon Negele (R-Attica) represents House District 13,
which includes all of Benton County, and portions of Fountain, Jasper,
Montgomery, Newton, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties. 
Click 
here for a high-resolution photo.