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$25 million on the way to help Marion County small businesses

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The coronavirus pandemic has turned many Marion County small business owners’ lives upside down. Nonessential businesses have been temporarily closed and customers have not been allowed to dine in restaurants since March.

“How do we then, proactively come forward and say ‘we will do what we can to provide access to capital to continue to pay your employees so that at the end of this, we can move forward. You are still strengthened. You are still viable as a company,’” Vop Osili, president of the Indianapolis City-County Council said.

Friday morning, in an emergency virtual meeting, the city-county council unanimously approved a proposal that provides up to $25 million from the county’s general fund to pay for short-term loans to the Indy Chamber Rapid Response fund.

That money will, in turn, pay for Paycheck Protection Loans to Marion County small businesses.

“The money will be available as of Monday. So, individuals who are in the pipeline, just know that their chances of being approved are greatly increased,” Osili said.

According to Indy Chamber, to qualify, business owners must certify a few things first, including: they and their employees are negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis and their business existed at the start of the pandemic.

“And at the proceeds of the loan, if 75% or greater are used to pay employees, then the loan is forgiven,” said Ian Nicolini, vice president of Indianapolis Economic Development for the Indy Chamber.

The loans are open to all qualifying small businesses.

Indy Chamber is strongly encouraging smaller employers of 50 people or less as well as women, and minority-owned businesses to apply.

“But really just to be able to focus on smaller business that might now otherwise be able to get through the process, or missed out the first time around,” Nicolini said.

The application process for the funds begins with an intake form that can be found online.

For general inquires, call: 317.464.2222.