State officials have expanded resources to assist small businesses recovering from economic hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Eric Holcomb recently announced a new partnership with Indiana Black Expo to increase access to economic and workforce recovery programs for minority employers.
“As a state, we’re committed to ensuring that our businesses and our people have access to vital economic and workforce assistance during this unprecedented time,” Holcomb said. “Launching this new partnership with Indiana Black Expo will expand the state’s capacity to provide critical COVID-19 resources to minority businesses and workers, while further positioning Indiana for long-term, sustainable economic recovery.”
Holcomb approved $500,000 in federal funding made available through the CARES Act to support minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs and communities negatively affected by COVID-19. The funding allows IBE, a statewide nonprofit, to launch a targeted, statewide promotional campaign and develop community outreach programs to raise awareness of available resources and funding as well as enhance participation in critical economic and workforce recovery programs.
IBE will also provide direct technical support to employers by connecting minority-owned businesses and minority Hoosiers with critical COVID-19 resources; developing educational initiatives, including a webinar series for minority business owners; and increasing collaborative partnerships with existing state resources, such as the Indiana Small Business Development Center and Next Level Jobs, to offer training and counseling services.
The state said the partnership’s objective is to raise awareness and use of funding and resources among minority businesses and workers.
Applications open for Indiana Small Business Restart Grants
Since its official launch on June 3, the state has received applications from nearly 460 small businesses representing 69 counties for Indiana Small Business Restart Grants. The program, which committed at least $5 million of the $30 million allocated to the fund toward minority- and women-owned businesses, has received applications from 13 certified minority-owned businesses and 26 certified women-owned businesses. Eligible small businesses can seek reimbursement for up to 80% of qualified expenses, such as rent/mortgage payments, utilities, lease payments for real or personal property, and safety investments, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and infrastructure improvements.
Paycheck Protection Program taking applications through June 30
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans to eligible small businesses and organizations impacted by COVID-19, is accepting applications through June 30. If payroll is maintained for eight weeks, the loans may be used to cover payroll, interest on mortgage obligations, rent or utilities.
The state said to date, 75,183 loans totaling nearly $9.4 billion have been awarded to Indiana small businesses.