Reps. Lehe, VanNatter: Grants, resources available to support small businesses during pandemic

Posted by: Josh DeFonce  | Thursday, June 25, 2020 7:00 am

STATEHOUSE (June 22, 2020) – As Indiana continues to get back on track, State Reps. Don Lehe (R-Brookston) and Heath VanNatter (R-Kokomo) said the state is dedicating nearly $44 million in federal funds to help small businesses and manufacturers impacted by COVID-19.

"Small businesses need help after Hoosiers stayed home and the economy unexpectedly slowed due to COVID-19," Lehe said. "The funds will help entrepreneurs and small-business owners get back on their feet."

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. VanNatter 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 VanNatter, 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. VanNatter 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.

"Companies are finding themselves in unprecedented circumstances as they try to work through how to keep their doors open," VanNatter said. "This assistance can help them navigate these economic challenges."

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

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. Don Lehe (R-Brookston) represents House District 25, which
includes portions of Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Tippecanoe and White counties.
Click 
here for a high-resolution photo. 

State Rep. Heath VanNatter (R-Kokomo) represents House District 38,
which includes portions of Carroll, Cass, Howard and Clinton counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.