Governor Eric Holcomb has announced a series of economic recovery initiatives he says will boost COVID-19 relief efforts. The state is providing nearly $44 million for the effort, which includes grants and investments to small businesses and manufacturers.
In a news release Friday, Holcomb said it is critical to provide Hoosier businesses and entrepreneurs with the necessary support to get back on track.
“These initiatives will ensure that two critical drivers of our state’s economy have access to resources and technological tools that allow them to continue competing and leading in the 21st century economy, while further positioning our state for long-term economic growth,” said Holcomb.
The initiatives include the $30 million Small Business Restart Fund, which includes federal dollars from the CARES Act, designed to provide working capital to small businesses to cover expenses related to the pandemic.
The state says Hoosier businesses with fewer than 50 employees and $5 million in annual revenue that have seen a 40% drop in revenue will be eligible to receive reimbursements for up to 80% of qualified expenses. The funding can be used for rent or mortgage payments, utilities, lease payments, and safety investments.
The program will set aside $5 million for certified minority- and women-owned businesses. You can learn more about the program by clicking here.
Additionally, the Indiana Small Business Development Center has received nearly $3.7 million CARES Act funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide more resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs over the next 18 months. Such resources include counseling and training, financial assistance, e-commerce, and business adaptation and innovation.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is also launching the $10 million Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement, or EASE, program designed to support technology and operational advancements in the state’s manufacturing sector. The program includes three key initiatives:
- Smart & Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) Focus Fund: Providing seed and early-stage investments and provide entrepreneurship resources to Indiana manufacturing-focused startups through Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures.
- Manufacturing Readiness Grants: Administered in partnership with Conexus Indiana, the grants will provide matching grants of up to $200,000 to companies committing to modernizing their operations or integrating smart technologies and processes in order to improve capacity, or to companies investing in health care manufacturing technology, providing financial assistance to manufacturers supporting critical COVID-19 response efforts
- Smart Manufacturing Studio Lab: Providing lab space and access to state-of-the-art smart manufacturing equipment, enabling businesses to train employees, validate technologies for their business models, and conduct third-party pilot manufacturing.
Holcomb’s office says the SAM Focus Fund will launch immediately, while applications for the readiness grants are expected to be available in July. The Smart Manufacturing Studio lab is expected to launch in early 2021.
Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger and IEDC Chief of Staff Luke Bosso talked about the programs Friday during Holcomb’s COVID-19 press briefing: