INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indy Chamber leaders announced plans Monday for a $10 million rapid response loan fund to help small businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a video press conference, Hogsett and Indy Chamber president Michael Huber called on area businesses and financial institutions to provide funding to add to the initial $3.7 million investment.
Hogsett said the loans will provide $1,000-$25,000 in emergency funds to food, beverage, entertainment and other small businesses to help them stay solvent and act as a bridge to Small Business Association disaster loans and other forms of long-term finance.
"These businesses employ tens of thousands of residents and help attract the city's 30 million annual visitors. A timely infusion of working capital can help ensure these employers stay solvent during the crisis," Hogsett said.
Huber said the city's $1.5 million contribution is the largest investment the city has ever made in direct support to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
"We're very fortunate that we've got all these reports of landlords being generous and offering flexible terms, our public utilities in Central Indiana offering flexible terms, but that is not going to be enough to help enough as many of these businesses survive this very, very challenging time," Huber said.
The fund includes a $1 million donation from Anthem, along with $1 million from the Capital Improvement Board. The Indianapolis Local Public Improvement Board is providing $500,000, while $300,000 is coming from Indy Chamber and $75,000 from LISC Indianapolis. The $2.8 million in commitments added to the loan fund's $840,000 give it $3.7 million toward its $10 million goal.
"It's critical that we help small businesses weather this temporary storm because when the time comes that it is safe to reopen shops, we're going to need them," Hogsett said. "Right now, they need us."
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