From the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs:
Earlier today, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced 15 Indiana Main Street programs are receiving grants through the Taking Care of Main Street program totaling $205,000. This second round was created to encourage and support advanced programs looking to implement mid- to long-term recovery strategies related to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Indiana Main Street organizations can play a big role in lifting up our small businesses,” Crouch said. “This funding can help ensure supportive services remain available in Hoosier communities. Investing in our small-business owners helps them work toward a sense of normalcy and through this community-driven revitalization, we can help create a better quality of place for all Hoosiers.” (audio available by clicking here)
The goal is to support Indiana Main Street organizations that provide leadership and services to the public, using the Main Street Approach™, with special attention to organizations that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. In August 2020, 40 Indiana Main Street organizations each received $5,000 through the first round of the program.
“The first round of this program helped 40 Main Street organizations cope with loss of funding and allowed them to provide needed support to small businesses and local leadership,” said Denny Spinner, Executive Director of OCRA. “Our goal is to see even more growth from these communities while they leverage opportunities with this grant funding. Rural Indiana can lead the recovery effort if given the opportunity.”
Eligible expenses could include salaries, administrative/consultant fees, space/equipment rental or staff development and training. For more program information, visit in.gov/ocra/mainstreet/taking-care-of-main-street.
Below is a summary of how each Main Street organization plans to use the awarded funding:
Anderson Indiana Main Street is awarded $5,000 to offset fees related to website maintenance, materials and equipment, printing/mailing materials, marketing and an online meeting platform license. Covering these expenses allows for the organization to focus efforts on elevating public art, enhancing storefronts and more.
Attica Main Street is awarded $5,000 to obtain a keynote speaker and develop “Downtown Comeback” workshop and obtain professional photos of businesses and business owners downtown to tell their story.
Batesville Main Street is awarded $15,000 to offset salary expenses to retain the program director and the director’s participation in the virtual Main Street America Conference.
Columbia City Connect is awarded $15,000 to create 10, $500 grants to design or improve websites or e-commerce platforms for small businesses. The remaining funding will be allocated toward general organization salaries and program administration expenses.
Culver Second Century Main Street Organization is awarded $5,000 to work with the Indiana Destination Development Corp. and Indiana MakeMyMove to research residency data, refine targeted new resident population, evaluate quality of life and perform gap analysis. This analysis would explore recruitment of a future remote workforce and what infrastructure, culture and amenities need to be prioritized to attract remote workers.
Develop New Albany is awarded $15,000 to fund the salary of a part-time market manager and program coordinator for the Farmers Market. It will also provide resources to create safe environment including masks, additional restrooms, hand sanitation stations, clear directory signage and more.
Discover Plymouth is awarded $5,000 to fund a business development summer intern for this year. The position will be assigned projects related to economic resiliency and disaster recovery, including market research, performing a SWOT analysis, workshop development and more.
Greater Kokomo Downtown Association is awarded $25,000 to offset a portion of the toward organization salaries and provide a $10,000 grant to cultivate local entrepreneurship. In the short, entrepreneurs will have free access to a downtown property for up to 60 days to demonstrate their skill or market their service. In the long-term, entrepreneurs who are successful in their market test could pursue a long-term lease, creating new partnerships between building owners and new entrepreneurs.
Greenfield Main Street, Inc. is awarded $15,000 for the program director’s salary expenses and to assist with special COVID-19 friendly event programs throughout the year.
Jeffersonville Main Street, Inc. is awarded $25,000 to provide organization salaries and training, utilities, rental facility reservations software, farmers market administration and insurance. A $10,000 grant will be designed from the funding to build a portable, outdoor seating or displays for customer interaction that could be replicated by other businesses.
Madison Main Street Program is awarded $15,000 to purchase membership software, office supplies, office rental, and ensure a safe and clean meeting space within the office.
Main Street Marion is awarded $15,000 to cover personnel costs to continue the execution of work plan activities.
New Castle Main Street, Inc. is awarded $15,000 to hire a downtown ambassador and help create a clean, safe, welcoming environment along with new wayfinding signage.
Richmond Main Street is awarded $15,000 to offset salary expenses to retain the current director.
Seymour Main Street is awarded $15,000 to offset salary expenses so that other operational funds can continue to be allocated toward local grant programming.