A Message from the Chamber Regarding COVID-19

As a business in West Central Indiana, we know that it can be hard to interpret the ongoing stream of information regarding COVID-19. To continue one of the main functions of the Chamber of Commerce, we are here to provide real-time, hands-on information that can be useful to our member businesses while making key decisions.

In 2021, we continue to update and push out vital information to our members and the business community.

Resources from 2020 can be found at the bottom of this page. 

COVID-19 Resources:

News from the State of Indiana

View details on Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb's Back on Track plan.

Indiana's Critical Industries can access answers to their specific questions via the Critical Industries website.

Guidance on Essential and Non-Essential Businesses - For additional information on what is considered an essential business, visit the US Dept of Homeland Security – CISA – Guidance on Critical Infrastructure.

Financial Resources

General Information and Financial Resources 2021:

West Central Indiana Resources:

Thrive West Central, an innovative regional driver dedicated to enhancing community assets while improving the overall quality of life in West Central Indiana, announced the launch of Resilient, a regional recovery and resiliency plan to help our communities thrive. Resilient was made possible through the $400,000 Economic Development Administration (EDA) CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant that Thrive received in August.

Thrive will spend the next several months engaging and conversing with a diverse group of stakeholders to gain a clear picture of the regional challenges and opportunities posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This comprehensive data collection and analysis process will culminate in the publication of a recovery and resiliency plan that will serve as a guide for communities as they look to emerge from the pandemic and work to rebuild their communities.

Resilient will specifically look to engage with stakeholders and communities in Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo Counties.

For first steps of in the stakeholder engagement process, Thrive is seeking responses to their COVID-19 economic endurance survey. The data collected from this survey will provide critical insight into the most pressing economic challenges caused by COVID-19.

Taking Care of Main Street grant opens for second round

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs today launched the second round of Taking Care of Main Street, a grant program which provides funding for operational support and recovery strategies to Indiana Main Street programs.

The goal is to support Indiana Main Street organizations that provide leadership and activities 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.

Grants between $5,000 to $25,000 will be awarded to organizations based on their Indiana Main Street program level with each level needing to provide respective documentation with their application. All applicants will need to outline how a reduction of funds has impacted the program’s activities, provide an explanation of how the funds will be utilized and supply a current work plan. No match is required and round one grantees are welcome to apply again this round.

Eligible expenses could include salaries, administrative fees, small business support, office space/equipment rental or staff development and training. Larger grants are intended 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. Each eligible application will be reviewed on a competitive basis based on the application’s completion and alignment with requirements and documentation.

Applications are now open and only online applications will be accepted. Applications will be accepted until Feb.12, 2021, and awards will be announced on Feb. 25, 2021. For more program information, visit in.gov/ocra/mainstreet/taking-care-of-main-street.

New IRS Form Available For Self-Employed Individuals to Claim COVID-19 Sick and Family Leave Tax Credits Under FFCRA
The Internal Revenue Service has released a new form for eligible self-employed individuals to claim sick and family leave tax credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Eligible self-employed individuals will determine their qualified sick and family leave equivalent tax credits with the new IRS Form 7202, Credits for Sick Leave and Family Leave for Certain Self-Employed Individuals. They’ll claim the tax credits on their 2020 Form 1040 for leave taken between April 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, and on their 2021 Form 1040 for leave taken between Jan. 1, 2021, and March 31, 2021.
Who may file Form 7202 - Eligible self-employed individuals must:

Taxpayers must maintain appropriate documentation establishing their eligibility for the credits as an eligible self-employed individual.

"At Your Side" Small Business Grant Program Launched

Main Street America and Brother International have joined forces to support small businesses as these enterprises play an important role in communities across the country. Through this collaboration, they’ve teamed up to launch the “At Your Side” Small Business Grant Program to provide a total of $75,000 to Main Street small businesses in need. This grant program will support brick-and-mortar small businesses in designated Main Street Districts as they work to adapt to COVID-19 and prepare for the next phase of reopening.

Small business applicants may apply for grant amounts between $5,000 and $10,000. A minimum of 50% of grants will benefit diverse-owned businesses defined as:

  • BIPOC,
  • Woman,
  • Veteran,
  • Disabled, and/or
  • LGBTQ-owned.

Applications are now opened and due by Thursday, January 28th at 8 p.m. EST.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):

We are closely following developments in 2021. New information is available by clicking here.

Information is updated as we receive details.

In early January 2021 the Small Business Administration and Indiana Small Business Development Center released information regarding PPP.

Guidance on Accessing Capital for Minority Underserved Veteran and Women Owned Business Concerns

PPP -- IFR -- Second Draw Loans (1.6.2021)

PPP -- IFR -- Paycheck Protection Program as Amended by Economic Aid Act (1.6.2021)

Please note, the best source of information regarding the PPP is your local bank. Also, consult your attorney and/or accountant for specific regulations and guidelines for your industry.

Additional Financial Resources:

Unemployment Services 

Employment Opportunities

General Resources from 2020

 Additional PPP Information Links (2020):

Financial Resources (2020):

General Business Resources

West Central Indiana Small Business Development Center

Located at Indiana State University, the Indiana Small Business Development Center is a FREE service for small business entrepreneurs. They offer one-on-one meetings and services including marketing, creating business plans, financing information and more.

Downtown and Main Street Resources