Warrick County lawmakers: Grants, resources available to support small businesses during pandemic

Posted by: Jordan Wallace  | Thursday, June 25, 2020

STATEHOUSE (June 25, 2020) – As Indiana continues to get back on track, State Rep. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville) and Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) said the state is dedicating nearly $44 million in federal funds to help small businesses and manufacturers impacted by COVID-19.

"Small businesses are not only vital to Indiana's economic success, but they are also the heart of communities," Sullivan said. "The virus set off a chain reaction impacting Hoosier employers and entrepreneurs, and hopefully this funding can go a long way in helping them move forward and recover."

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. Sullivan 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 Sullivan, 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. Bacon 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.

"Small businesses are seeing additional costs increase as they balance reopening with protecting Hoosiers' health," Bacon said. "These funds will help employers manage reoccurring expenses such as supplying PPE for employees and customers for the foreseeable future."

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

Bacon 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. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents House District 75, 
which includes portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville) represents House District 78,
which includes portions of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.
Click 
here to download a high-resolution photo.