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3 publicly-traded Indiana companies to receive millions from small business loan program

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Three publicly-traded Indiana companies are getting millions from the Paycheck Protection Program, a fund created to help small businesses.

Nearly 36,000 companies in Indiana received money from the program, totaling close to $7.5 billion for the Hoosier state.

Three of those Indiana-based companies receiving money from the program include Emmis Communications, Evansville’s Escalade Inc. and Hallador, a Terre Haute energy company.

Emmis Communications, which has nearly 450 employees and owns eight radio stations, is getting $4.75 million. Escalade Inc., a maker of sporting equipment with 365 employees in the country, is receiving $5.6 million. The Terre Haute energy company, Hallador, that has 750 employees is scheduled to get the maximum allowable by the program – $10 million.

According to Steve Mnuchin, the U.S. treasury secretary, the program was designed with the intent to assist small businesses.

“We want to make sure this money is available to the small businesses that need it, people who have invested their entire life savings,” said Mnuchin.

“I think it’s important that these monies go towards their intended purpose,” Sen. Todd Young told I-Team 8 Thursday. “To the extent we have businesses out there accessing monies that really don’t need these monies, I would question the propriety of that. I do think that there will be some public resistance toward those companies and those individuals who are tapping into a finite amount of money at a time when you have other small businesses trying to access them.”

Young’s office says he’s concerned about potential improprieties in the application process, and that he would ask any company involved in impropriety to return the loan money.

There’s been no implication of impropriety in the applications from Escalade, Hallador, or Emmis.

When asked about the intended purpose for money, Emmis Communications – the only one to respond – said on Wednesday: ” Like most media companies, Emmis’ revenues have been devastated by the COVID-19 crisis; unlike most media companies, we have been able to keep paying all our employees. Emmis has always had a people-first culture; now more than ever, that paycheck assurance is critical. The proceeds from the PPP loan will enable us to continue providing stability for our employees -including Indiana residents – while we weather this storm together.”

In a press release, Hallador mentioned the money would help cover two months of payroll and other covered expenses.

Editor’s Note:  Emmis Communications is the parent company of WIBC, news gathering partner of WISH-TV.