Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development has received funding from the federal Economic Development Administration to assist Indiana-based companies with the impact of the pandemic. The university says second-stage companies, which are companies with 10-99 employees, that meet the criteria will receive strategic research and frameworks to grow jobs through the Economic Gardening program.

Purdue says the program is an entrepreneurial approach to economic development that aims to grow the local economy from within. The program focuses on “supporting local stage-two companies seeking to grow their business with strategic information and strategies to help accelerate job growth.”

“It was our hope that we would help retain or grow 20 jobs over a period of 3-4 years,” said Bo Beaulieu, professor of rural and regional development with the Purdue Center for Regional Development and Department of Agricultural Economics. “We were heartened to know that the program helped realize a net growth or retention of 132 jobs along with a net increase of 17% in gross domestic revenue.”

The university says the $4,200 fee will be covered by the CARES Act funds for qualifying companies.

A team of Economic Gardening specialists will be assigned to assist the CEOs in identifying the main issues that may be hindering their growth.

The qualifications for entrance into the program by a company include:

  • Represent a for-profit, privately held business
  • Non-metropolitan
  • Employ at least 10 but not more than 100 people
  • Generate annual revenues of $750,000 to $50 million
  • Maintain its principal place of business in Indiana for at least the previous two years

Purdue says small businesses are the primary driver of job growth in Indiana. Additionally, existing second-stage businesses generated nearly 38% of all new jobs in Indiana in 2019, higher than larger-sized enterprises in the state.