Grant to Provide Assistance to Lake County Businesses

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The Lake County Economic Development Commission is awarding a $750,000 grant to help support small businesses in the county. The funding, given to the Community Investment Fund of Indiana, will provide loans and technical assistance to businesses that may not qualify for conventional financing.

The CIFI loans are given to the smallest businesses in the state, most of which are minority-owned, newer businesses or located in rural areas. Timothy Brown, executive director of the Lake County Community Economic Development Department, which oversees the grant administration for the commission, says the new partnership with CIFI aims to create as many new jobs as possible.

"CIFI offers us the opportunity of stretching our funds to provide loans for smaller businesses in the range of $50,000 to $100,000," Brown said in a news release. "Previously approved projects by the Commission include manufacturing and food processing companies that need buildings and specific equipment such as robotic welding machines, industrial saws and freezers. And most recently the seed funds for the new Hammond Data Center."

Sharon Liggins, who sits on the CIFI Board of Directors, says the funding will help increase job opportunities, specialized product delivery, and exceptional customer service from businesses. To date, CIFI has loaned $2.6 million to businesses throughout the state.

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