Forum's bid joins 14 others for READI 2.0 funds • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Northwest Indiana Forum

Forum’s bid joins 14 others for READI 2.0 funds

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The Northwest Indiana Forum is asking for the maximum funding amount of $75 million in the second round of READI funding from the state.

It represents one of the 15 regions to submit proposals for READI 2.0 funds.

“The time is now to invest in Northwest Indiana,” said Heather Ennis, president and CEO of the NWI Forum, in a press release. “No other place in the State has greater opportunities for quality of life, place, and investment. We have seen tremendous success through READI 1.0, and continue to work together to elevate the impact and potential of READI 2.0!”

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that the proposals represent all 92 counties in the state.

The Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative's second round includes $500 million in funds for quality of life and quality of place intitiatives.

“Indiana is leading the nation in quality of life and quality of place investment initiatives,” Holcomb said in a press release. “Through the state’s READI program, we’re collaboratively investing billions to grow Indiana’s population, cultivate vibrant and sustainable communities, and better the lives of all Hoosiers today and tomorrow.”

READI 2.0 is part of Holcomb's 2023 Next Level Agenda.

The Northwest Indiana proposal, led by the Forum, will benefit Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski and Starke counties.

The proposal's themes include: “Create a dynamic economic environment fueled by innovation, diversity and talent by investing in the advanced energy sector, expanding investment-ready assets, developing opportunity campuses to support communities, enhance destination development and amplify regional innovation and creative cultures,” according to the governor's statement.

The Northern Indiana Regional Development Authority also submitted a proposal for the South Bend-Elkhart region, which includes Elkhart, Marshall and St. Joseph counties. Its theme was outlined as: “Propel the region into the future with strong investments to attract and retain talent, equip tomorrow’s talent, drive innovation and entrepreneurship, accelerate industry diversification and enhance infrastructure.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. will review the proposals and present its recommendations to the board of directors by April 11.

Lilly Endowment Inc. also has invested $250 million in grant funding for quality of place efforts. The funds will be awarded in conjunction with READI 2.0

READI was launched in 2021. READI 1.0 invested $478 million in 353 projects around the state.


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