Small Businesses Vital To Economic Growth

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Small Businesses Vital To Economic Growth

By District 78  State Representative Tim O’Brien

 Small businesses contribute to our communities in a multitude of ways. Not only do they sponsor youth sports teams, donate to nonprofits and give our hometowns character, but they also employ more than 1.2 million Hoosiers statewide, making up 44 percent of all workers, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Indiana’s economic growth is dependent on small businesses, and I am dedicated to taking action to help Hoosier entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed.

To continue mitigating the impact of the pandemic, small businesses can receive a Hoosier Hospitality Small Business Restart Grant, providing funds to cover a portion of certain expenses. More than $30 million in CARES Act funding is available for grants and more businesses can qualify for help. Businesses that already received a Small Business Restart Grant can reapply in order to reach the new maximum reimbursement amount of $100,000, but it’s important to note that expenses covered by a previous grant are not eligible for this second round of funding. Be sure to apply as soon as possible, especially as grants will be issued in the order received until funding is exhausted. Learn more and apply for a grant atbackontrack.in.gov.

Recruiting talent is also a challenge facing many employers. Hoosiers can skill up and earn credentials for jobs in fast-growing industries through the state’s Next Level Jobs program, helping businesses find highly trained employees. Workforce Ready Grants cover tuition costs to earn an eligible, high-value certificate from Ivy Tech Community College or Vincennes University. To learn about free training opportunities, visitnextleveljobs.org.

Hoosier veterans in need of training as they transition to civilian life can apply for grants through Next Level Veterans. This program, available atin.gov/veterans, helps connect employers to veterans looking for career opportunities. Here in Evansville, Jeff Klump, founder of MidAmerica Safety Solutions and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, makes it his mission to hire veterans and their families. For his efforts, Klump and his traffic control safety company earned Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year for Indiana’s Small Business Week 2021.

When dining, shopping or in need of a service, support a local small business and for every $100 spent, $48 stays in the community, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Spend the same amount at a big box store and only $14 stays locally.

Thank you to all of the small-business owners who make a difference in our state. For additional resources, visit the Indiana Economic Development Corp. at iedc.in.gov.

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