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Indiana: Grants For Small Businesses

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Indiana's small businesses contribute 45% to the state's economy. As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, businesses have undergone a drastic change. Lockdowns have forced the closure of many small businesses. Those businesses that suffered from the coronavirus pandemic must apply for grants from the federal government. Several businesses had to close because they did not have sufficient funding.

The role of money in running a successful business cannot be overstated. Many reasons have caused the money cycle to stop, including lockdowns, irregularities in imports and exports, and destroyed payrolls. But each of these problems can be addressed with money. The federal government and private entities offer small business grants to boost the state's economy.

The funding options and resources available to small business owners are often unknown. That is why many of them have to close down their companies. They can, however, start a business again if they are given the right information about the resources and grants. Find out what resources and grants you can apply for.

Indiana Small Business Statistics

More than $13 billion in federal grants and an additional $10 billion in local government funding sources are dedicated to the business sector every year, as small companies and large corporations are responsible for Indiana's economic growth. The businesses in Indiana consist of 111,972 establishments. 

A small business in Indiana can be challenging to start and run. Indiana spends over 88 billion dollars on employee salaries and payroll every year, and over 49,310 businesses file for bankruptcy every year. Small business grants are one of the best funding sources for a business, so you must consider them.

Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds

Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) is a part of the American Rescue Plan and provides $350 billion to support state, local, and tribal governments responding to and recovering from the public health emergency.

Funds from the SLFRF may be used to:

  • Replace revenue lost to the public sector, providing government services up to the revenue lost due to the pandemic.
  • Support the prevention, treatment, and recovery from the pandemic's far-reaching public health and negative economic impacts while also supporting the recovery of households and small businesses, impacted industries, and non-profits.
  • Offer premium wages to essential workers, providing additional support to those who have and will bear the greatest health risks due to their employment in critical sectors.
  • Make necessary investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure to expand affordable access to clean drinking water, support vital infrastructure for wastewater and stormwater management, and improve access to clean drinking water, sewer, and broadband internet.

Each jurisdiction has the flexibility to meet local needs within the four different categories of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP)

As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) was established to assist low- and moderate-income community financial institutions in supporting their local small businesses and consumers.

As part of this program, the Treasury will provide up to $9 billion of capital directly to depository institutions certified as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) or minority depository institutions (MDIs). The funds will be provided, among other things, to help small businesses and minority-owned businesses and consumers, especially those in low-income and underserved communities that the COVID-19 pandemic may disproportionately impact.  For CDFIs and MDIs with assets less than $500 million, Treasury will allocate $2 billion, and for those with assets less than $2 billion, it will allocate an additional $2 billion.  

Paycheck Protection Program

Small businesses participating in the Paycheck Protection Program will have the resources to maintain their payroll, rehire laid-off employees, and cover overhead expenses.

Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department implement the Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act.  Through this program, small businesses can apply for funding for up to eight weeks of payroll costs, including benefits. A mortgage, rent, or utility interest payment can also be made with the funds.

Approximately 659 billion dollars are authorized to benefit millions of Americans who work for small businesses as part of the Paycheck Protection Program.

The Small Business Act provides financial assistance to small businesses, non-profit organizations, Veteran-run organizations, and Tribal government enterprises. Self-employed individuals and independent contractors also qualify if they meet program criteria.

Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration supports American small businesses. A variety of programs and funding opportunities are available to small businesses in every part of the country through the organization.

Applicants in Indiana may also apply online through the Small Business Administration's website. Many small business opportunities are listed on the SBA's website. There is information on the website about finding out about the grants, the required documents, and how to apply for grants or loans.

LISC Small Business Relief Grants

During the COVID-19 pandemic, LISC's COVID-19 grant programs gave over $215 million in grants to over 12,000 small businesses. Small businesses from across the country have been included on the list since the organization works on a national scale. There was a need to create new systems that focus on racial and economic equity as the cornerstone of our investments to support entrepreneurs vital to their communities and the economy.

Grants were provided to small business owners through the LISC Small Business Relief Grants program. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in over $82 million in grants for 6,000 entrepreneurs to help them stay in business and contribute to the local economy.

To support the small businesses that are collapsing, the organization provides financial assistance. The funds they provide small businesses with the necessary boost. Thanks to their fund, many small businesses can stand up and be successful again. 

Rapid Response Loans

Business owners affected by the covid-19 pandemic may qualify for Rapid Response Loans. This platform offers loans of up to $25,000 to small business owners. Small businesses in Indiana that have experienced a downturn in their business can apply for emergency financial assistance up to $25,000 through the Rapid Response Loan Program. Business size and total turnover determine the amount of the loan. 

Indiana Small Business Center Grants (Indiana SBDC)

By offering free, confidential business advice and training, the Indiana SBDC, a division of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, focuses on helping small businesses start, grow, finance, innovate, and transition. Since its inception in 1985, it has assisted over 50,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses. It is funded by the SBA and the state of Indiana. Throughout Indiana, the Indiana Small Business Development Center operates a network of ten regional offices that help small businesses and entrepreneurs get started, grow, and work smarter.

The Indiana Technical Assistance Program (ITAP) is now accepting applications for ITAP, a statewide program that offers small businesses extensive technical assistance to help them succeed. The Small Business Administration gives up to $15,000 in professional services to small businesses that need assistance with growth or improvement projects that require specialized expertise.

The program can provide a wide range of professional assistance for small businesses, from designing new products to implementing inventory control systems. One hundred twenty-eight businesses have received help from ITAP since the program was launched in 2017, and 68 have been completed. 

Indiana Grant Watch

Indiana Grant Watch is an excellent resource for finding Indiana grants for individuals, non-profits, and small businesses. The Indiana Grant Listing Directory has more than 28,420 grants, funding opportunities, awards, and archival grants (that will be made available soon again) for foundations, corporations, and federal, state, and local funding agencies throughout the USA, U.S. Territories, and Canada.

Nevertheless, a paid subscription is required for full access to their information. The monthly payment plan starts at $18 per week and goes up to $199 for the whole year. Free GrantWatch membership comes with limited functionality. With a free membership, you won't be able to see the full details of grants, nor can you apply for them.

Considering different avenues for business financing? Discover opportunities beyond Indiana and explore the grants available for small businesses in Hawaii in our recent blog post.

Grants For Minorities, Women, And Veterans

Minorities, women, veterans, and groups with limited resources have access to the following grant options.

Indiana Black Expo (IBE)

The Indiana Black Expo serves as a voice and a vehicle for the economic and social development of youth and families in Indiana. Its mission is to drive long-lasting, positive change for underserved communities by focusing on education and economic empowerment.

IBE celebrates diversity and inclusion regardless of race, nationality, age, socioeconomic level, and religion. They focus on providing unique programs and events that reflect Indiana's changing landscape and the changing world. IBE is dedicated to improving the quality of life through personal enhancement and community development. It continues to be a significant economic and social contributor to the Indiana community and the youth, with a statewide infrastructure that includes 12 chapter affiliates.

Indy Chamber of Commerce

A small-dollar micro-loan can be obtained from the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce (as little as $1,000) at very low-interest rates. Business owners who lack traditional access to funding, such as women, minorities, and immigrants, can access the funds from these lenders. Their credit score is also not a requirement, and they also provide loans to start-ups. 

Hispanic Business Council

Hispanic Business Council offers assistance to Hispanic/Latino businesses in Indianapolis and Marion County. Besides government grants, the center offers loans from local banks, mentorship and protegee programs, MBA-level training and education services, and business workshops.

Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC)

Fort Wayne is the home of the NIIC, and it covers an extensive area. It assists entrepreneurs in starting and growing their businesses. This includes granting 0% APR loans through Kiva. Additionally, NIIC helps MWBEs and disabled veterans as well as MWBE businesses. The SMBE provides a "Breakthrough Program" and other resources. 

Renew Indianapolis

The Renew Indianapolis program is available in Marion and Hamilton counties and the city of Indianapolis. A non-profit agency provides funds to minority, veteran, immigrant, and women-run businesses that lack access to capital in the region. Renew Indianapolis also helps businesses with low credit scores and low credit ratings organization offers low-interest loans, business capital, possibly grants, and other help. 

Elkhart Indiana 

A free government grant program known as the American Rescue Plan is available to businesses in Elkhart, Indiana, including MWBE-owned businesses with under $500,00 in annual revenue. A business can use the money for various expenses, such as website development, rent for an office or store, signage for a retail store, and employee training. It has been noted that some of these grants (often several thousands of dollars each) go to disadvantaged companies.

Minority Small Business Fund

Businesses owned by minorities in Northwest Indiana can apply for free grants, financial assistance, and more. A partnership between Northwest Indiana Reinvestment Alliance and First Financial Bank is behind this program. Small businesses can access the Minority Small Business Fund through this service.  Several other programs are offered by NWIRA, including Diverse Women in Business Initiative, Financial Literacy, Budgeting, and Low Income Assistance. 

The Indy Black Chamber of Commerce

Entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses in Marion County and Indianapolis are eligible to apply for free grants of up to $40,000. Companies such as Comcast Cable, the Indianapolis Black Chamber of Commerce, and others are offering funds. Moreover, the Black Chamber of Commerce offers many services to Black businesses. This can range from counseling to job training, interview skills, and information about business development workshops. Free grants are frequently accompanied by other general advice. 

Legacy Foundation

A small business or sole proprietor in East Chicago or Gary, Indiana, may be eligible for a free hardship grant of $2500 to $5,000. The Legacy Foundation administers funds, and they are for sole-proprietorships up to small businesses with less than 26 employees. Women entrepreneurs, veterans, disabled businesses, and Latino entrepreneurs may apply. You can use it for inventory, working capital, bills, rent, etc. Many businesses that can benefit from these free grants are hairdressers, restaurants, gyms, etc. 

Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC)

NIRPC can provide business assistance to LaPorte, Lake, and Porter counties residents. Minority and women-owned businesses are given the majority of the cash grants. Business counseling, funds, and other services are available in partnership with Economic Development Administration.

Broadening your horizons beyond Indiana could reveal a treasure trove of additional grant opportunities. Venture into our latest blog post exploring the array of grants available for Connecticut small businesses. It's a chance to diversify your funding strategy and glean insights from the support systems in place for entrepreneurs in Connecticut!

Bottom Line

Small businesses in Indiana can take advantage of a variety of resources. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, small businesses and non-profit organizations receive financial support. With the right type of financial aid, small businesses can stand back and give the economy the boost it desperately needs. Explore the above list of resources and find a funding source that works for your business.

Expand your horizon beyond Indiana's grant opportunities by exploring what neighboring Illinois has to offer. Our latest blog post on Illinois small business grants provides a comprehensive look at the funding landscape to the west. Delve in to discover new grant possibilities that could be the catalyst for your business growth!

Considering expanding your knowledge on neighboring state grant opportunities? Delve into our recent blog post spotlighting Illinois small business grants. Discover the potential to boost your business with diverse funding options just a state away.

Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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