INDIANAPOLIS — An effort is underway to help small business owners on the far east side of Indianapolis.
A new round of grants has been announced by the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC). Several organizations are teaming up to make it happen. The grants will be available specifically for minority, immigrant or women-owned small businesses on the far east side.
Business owners in the area say they are grateful there is an effort specifically focusing on their community.
“It's been a struggle and that's the only word I can really use to explain how I've survived the pandemic,” said Michael Alender of Kingdom Cleaners.
He said he is trying to keep his business open after the loss of his wife and the economic impacts of the pandemic.
“She was the brains behind the operation and then the pandemic hit. COIVD hits and the country goes into this pandemic swirl, so I'm trying to figure out how I can pay the bills, how I'm going to eat every day,” said Alender.
He says so far, he hasn’t qualified for any of the grants or small business loans that have been offered during the pandemic. He’s hoping this time is different.
Other business owners in the area say they too hope they receive a grant through this program.
Ms. Marsha’s Sweets was only open for several months before the pandemic hit and they were forced to temporarily suspend operations.
“When COVID let up we had to start pretty much from scratch again,” said James Johnson Sr. with Ms. Marsha’s Sweets.
“The far east side is overlooked when it comes to funding, support and grants, and it's time to take this community out of surviving mode and into thriving mode,” said community leader Dee Ross, founder and CEO of the Ross Foundation.
He hopes this round of grants brings more than a financial boost to businesses in the area.
“There are a lot of businesses that I work with on a day-to-day basis who are losing signs of hope, who are ready to give up, who are ready to shut down their doors. I’ve seen business after business leave our community over the last few decades so it's time to counteract that narrative and bring hope back into a hopeless community,” said Ross.
For more information about these grants and how to apply click here: https://www.lisc.org/indianapolis/covid-19/small-business-relief-grant-far-eastside/