The Noble County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the county’s only organization dedicated exclusively to creating a thriving local economy, is looking to give away over $60,000 to local small businesses.
Over 25 applications for the EDC’s Micro-Grant program, launched last month in response to COVID-19, have already been processed with checks totaling over $32,000 going out soon. A variety of establishments including restaurants, personal service providers, and retailers will utilize funding to help cover operating expenses so they may retain jobs and keep doors open.
“We are privileged and grateful to be able to help our local small businesses,” said Gary Gatman, executive director of the EDC. “Our work is not done, though, because we know there are more who could benefit from a check to help pay for utilities, rent, property taxes or other business expenses after suffering a hit due to COVID-19.”
The Micro-Grant program is not a loan. The grant is similar to financial aid a business might receive after suffering damage from a tornado or flood that affected an entire community. In this case, the “disaster” that nearly all local small businesses suffered is COVID-19 and the related executive orders that resulted in business interruptions and loss of revenue. The EDC is offering micro-grants to invest dollars to help small businesses bounce back, and forward.
“The application process is simple, not nearly as complex as some other programs that have rolled out during COVID-19,” continued Gatman. “We also have local staff available to meet one-on-one, over the phone, or virtually to help business owners complete the application.”
Businesses eligible for a micro-grant from the EDC are those that have fewer than 26 workers; operate in Noble County; are a registered entity with the Indiana Secretary of State; are not a non-profit organization, church, bank or financial institution, investment management firm, property management or investment firm, real estate agency or brokerage firm, or government agency; and are willing to participate in a brief, anonymous survey of workers.
Minimal paperwork is required with the application and EDC staff will help guide businesses in how best to meet that requirement, based on individual circumstances and needs.
Those who wish to explore the micro-grant opportunity further or seek staff assistance can email the EDC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (260) 636-3800. Applications can also be made online at www.noblecountyedc.com/content/covid-19-impact-micro-grant-program.