The Rebound Indiana: Businesses eligible for Ready to Restart grants

Sweatt Box Wellness Center.JPG
Posted at 12:45 AM, Jul 08, 2020

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INDIANAPOLIS — There is free money up for grabs for small businesses. There's hardly any hassle for business owners to apply.

On North Post Road on Indy's east side, you'll find the Sweatt Box Wellness Center run by Suzette Sweatt and her husband, Daniel.

"We're basically known for our personal training and our women and weights, so we train small groups of women together," Suzette said.

A small business focusing on fitness literally trying to bounce back from the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.

"We got the governor's recommendation to shut down completely and so that was I will say devastating," Suzette said.

The business lost 75 percent of its revenue but as restrictions lifted under the reopening plans, Suzette stumbled upon a tweet, which led her to the Indy Chamber's Ready to Restart program and grant money available to small businesses in Marion County to help with COVID-related reopening costs.

LEARN MORE | Indy Chamber's Ready to Restart program

The available grant money can be used to reimburse business owners for things like facial mask and disinfecting wipes — anything they would need to enter into this new phase of operating a business.

The city of Indianapolis and the Indy Chamber teamed up to use a portion of the city's CARES Act funding to provide $5,000 reimbursement grants.

"Free money. So yeah, definitely encourage people and businesses to sign up and to fill out an application," Vincent Ash, director of Indy Chamber's Develop Indy, said. "I think a lot of people think they'll be left out and that's not what we at the Indy Chamber are for. We're here to help all businesses and we've proven that throughout the midst of COVID."

In total, there is $5 million available for businesses thanks to additional contributions from donor partners like CareSource, which threw in $180,000 to the Ready to Restart program.

"The grant component that we're funding is simply a grant," Steve Smitherman, of CareSource, said. "There is no repayment options. They get the money to use for the necessary PPE and personal safety and health equipment."

Eligible businesses in Marion County must have less than 150 employees and those businesses must have purchased PPE, professional cleaning and disinfection services or made capital improvements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Suzette and Dan Sweatt were reimbursed $5,000 for installing an air purifying and circulation system in their facility.

"The process was easy, basically a few documentations, your receipts, your itemized statements, so it wasn't like a long, tedious process," Suzette said. "I would say this is by far one of the easiest to apply for."

No sweat.

Businesses have until July 31 to apply for the Ready to Restart grants. It takes about two weeks to process and receive a reimbursement check.