County news # 2Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs Thursday announced that an additional 42 rural Hoosier communities will receive more than $10.09 million in federal grant funding through the COVID-19 Response Program.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our Hoosier economy and they have made considerable sacrifices during the COVID-19 crisis.” said Lt. Gov. Crouch “This funding will help Hoosier small businesses continue to recover and will help make investments necessary to create safer spaces for their customers and staff.”

On April 30, Lt. Governor Crouch announced 61 COVID-19 Response Phase 1 recipients, who received more than $10.7 million in funding. To continue addressing the economic impact caused by COVID-19 on rural Hoosier businesses, OCRA launched a second phase of the COVID-19 Response Program.

“Many of the business owners face already-slim margins, which make these grants even more essential for their survival,” said Matt Crouch, Interim Executive Director of OCRA. “OCRA is pleased to be able to continue our support for small businesses which is integral to the recovery of Indiana’s rural economy.”

Funding for the COVID-19 Response Phase 2 funding is derived from Indiana’s CARES Act allocation.  Marshall County is one of the 42 successful applicants awarded $250,000 to create the Marshall County Crossroads Loan Program. This county-wide micro-loan program would be used to provide funds to businesses or for employees of businesses that fit into the size standard of less than $1 million in gross annual sales and less than 20 LMI employees.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the CARES Act provides for payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.