INDIANAPOLIS - State officials have unveiled a new program aimed at retaining and expanding business and entrepreneurial opportunities throughout the state. A $100,000 grant from USDA Rural Development will establish the IMPACT Main Street program, which will initially benefit nine Indiana Main Street organizations.

The program was announced Monday by Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and the Indiana U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. OCRA says the nine organizations will work with Ball State University's Indiana Communities Institute to design and implement business investment strategies for their downtowns.

The organizations selected for the program are located in Seymour, Fairmount, Tell City, Tipton, Rockville, Sullivan, Dillsboro, Elwood and La Porte. OCRA Executive Director Jodi Golden says, "This type of innovative programming directly impacts local business development and spurs further private investment."

OCRA says once the pilot run of the program is complete, it plans to extend the program to other Indiana Main Street organizations.