Main Street organizations around Indiana experiencing hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic have a new financial resource.
The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs recently launched Taking Care of Main Street, a grant program designed to provide operational support for Indiana Main Street programs. Applications now are being accepted.
“Downtowns are the heartbeats of our rural communities, and we recognize the significant impact our businesses and organizations have faced throughout this pandemic,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. “Indiana Main Street organizations continue to serve as vital resources, particularly in our small and rural areas, and this is yet another way we can support them in their efforts.”
The goal is to support Indiana Main Street organizations that provide leadership and activities to the public, using the Main Street Approach, with special attention to organizations who have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.
Matt Crouch, interim executive director of OCRA, said the grants will provide direct assistance to local small businesses who need the help as they adjust business models to follow CDC guidelines to operate in a post-pandemic environment.
Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to at least 40 Main Street programs based on demonstration of the following:
- A designated Indiana Main Street with an operational history of at least two consecutive years;
- Demonstrated impact of COVID-19 on their Main Street community;
- Provided explanation of how a reduction of funds has impacted the program’s activities;
- Explanation of how funds will assist the organization and what future funding will support;
- Demonstrated operating costs in excess of $10,000;
- A current work plan; and rural/urban representation of applicants.
Eligible expenses could include salaries, administrative/consultant fees, space/equipment rental or staff development and training. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Each eligible application will be reviewed and awarded by OCRA on a first come, first serve basis until funds are depleted. Upon receiving a fully executed grant agreement, the grantee will receive 100% of the grant award.