New program available to help Hoosier small businesses build online presence

INDIANAPOLIS The Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) announced today a new partnership with the Indiana University Kelley School of Business to support the long-term economic recovery of Hoosier small businesses and entrepreneurs. Through a new program, eligible companies may apply for no-cost assistance to help establish or increase their online presence through website development, e-commerce support and other digital tools and services.

“As a state, we’re focused on encouraging long-term planning and investments to propel Indiana’s economy into the future,” Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger said. “With this new partnership, the Indiana SBDC will continue increasing its support for Hoosier small businesses and entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic, improving access to critical tools and resources to help companies adapt to new markets and enhance their competitiveness by growing their online presence.”

The Indiana SBDC and Kelley launched Project HOPE to support Indiana small businesses negatively affected by COVID-19. Under the program, Kelley students and recent graduates are offered paid internships to assist eligible companies in expanding their online presence, solving technology issues or providing new digital capabilities. The projects, which include creating or modifying websites, building e-commerce platforms, improving cybersecurity frameworks, migrating data, and more, are overseen by faculty members and completed within two weeks.

To be eligible, Indiana small businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an Indiana SBDC client,
  • Have been in business as of February 15, 2020, and
  • Be able to demonstrate a negative impact from COVID-19.

“Since our founding 100 years ago, our school has believed we have a responsibility to support the Indiana business community,” said Idalene Kesner, dean of the Kelley School and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management. “Due to the COVID-19 situation, the need for support is greater today than ever before. Our dedicated faculty and engaged students are ready to apply their expertise and skills to help our state in its efforts to recover from the pandemic.”

To date, more than 75 student interns have participated in Project HOPE, providing more than 8,000 hours of direct technical support to 97 small businesses in 28 counties. Along with these services, student interns provide training and education to enable small businesses to operate the new technology or tool following the conclusion of the project. All work is conducted virtually to ensure the health and safety of Hoosiers. Indiana companies are encouraged to submit applications online.

Black-owned small business partners with Indiana SBDC & Kelley to launch state-of-the-art website 
Nicole Kearney is the vitner and owner of Indianapolis-based boutique winery Sip & Share Wines, which produces a diverse collection of artisanal vegan wines. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Kearney has shifted gears to meet the changing needs of her small business, developing an online strategy to reach new and existing customers. With the help of the student interns, Sip & Share Wines launched a new website equipped with improved functionality for novice and experienced wine drinkers and an e-commerce platform designed to bolster the company’s online sales.

The Indiana SBDC, which is a program of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, approved $150,000 in federal funding provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration through the CARES Act to support the statewide launch of Project HOPE. To learn more about COVID-19 resources and no-cost counseling available to Indiana entrepreneurs and small businesses, visit isbdc.org/indianacovid19smallbusiness.

About Indiana SBDC 
The Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) is a program of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, which leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts. The Indiana SBDC helps entrepreneurs launch, grow and locate businesses in the state, providing entrepreneurs with expert guidance and resources on how to start and grow a business. With a network of 10 regional offices through the state, the Indiana SBDC creates a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses.

The Indiana SBDC is funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. For more information about the Indiana SBDC, visit www.isbdc.org.  


IDEM and Purdue MEP Offer Technical Assistance and Grant Opportunities to Manufacturers

Indianapolis – Indiana manufacturers are eligible for a unique opportunity for on-site technical assistance and training from the Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). The Purdue MEP program is a champion for the manufacturing sector and has a longstanding history of providing manufacturers with high value, affordable solutions to manufacturing challenges including lean manufacturing, energy efficiency, quality improvement, six sigma, and more. Now, with funding from IDEM’s Pollution Prevention Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), Purdue MEP is offering a new process improvement assessment to your facility’s toolbelt: W.A.S.T.E. Stream Mapping.

W.A.S.T.E. Stream Mapping can reveal substantial opportunities to reduce costs, improve production flow, save time, improve worker safety, reduce inventory, and improve environmental performance. These assessments take a broad look at manufacturing processes by focusing on all environmental areas including Water, Air, Solid Waste, Toxics, and Energy (W.A.S.T.E).

Currently, U.S. EPA has partnered with IDEM and Purdue MEP to fund W.A.S.T.E. Stream Mapping assessments to 15 Indiana manufacturers at a significantly reduced cost. Through these assessments, Purdue MEP will meet with your facility staff (virtually if preferred), conduct on-site training (virtually if preferred), and assess processes in your facility to identify toxic materials, hazardous emissions, waste streams, and energy improvements. Businesses will be provided with a report and presentation from Purdue MEP outlining opportunities and recommendations for energy savings, less toxic materials and process improvements to prevent pollution and reduce waste.

Unlike other programs, the assistance doesn’t stop here. Once businesses have seen the recommendations, Purdue MEP will offer guidance as businesses prepare to explore innovative solutions to the identified opportunities for improvement. Follow-up assistance includes Purdue’s Faculty Assistance Program. This program pairs companies with unique and challenging unresolved projects with specialized University experts who can assist in resolving those niche problems. Up to 40 hours a year of assistance will be provided to businesses to help identify specific solutions to unique issues.

Furthermore, businesses can also apply for grant funds to provide seed money to implement the solutions. These competitive grants, funded by the U.S. EPA, will be awarded by IDEM. Eligible applicants include only those 15 manufacturing companies selected to participate in this W.A.S.T.E. Stream Mapping opportunity. IDEM anticipates awarding six to ten grants and will distribute a total of $45,000.

Indiana Manufacturing W.A.S.T.E. Stream Mapping Technical Assistance and Grant Opportunity

What businesses receive:

  • Two-day on-site W.A.S.T.E. Stream Mapping training for up to 12 participants ($4,000 value).
  • Facilitated W.A.S.T.E. Stream Mapping project brainstorming, identification, and initial data collection, including a prepared report and representation with recommendations to facility staff.
  • Facilitated solution analysis, feasibility analysis, and Return on Investment (ROI) calculation for final project selection, compiled in a custom action plan for your facility.
  • Up to 40 hours of technical assistance by Purdue TAP Faculty Assistance Program (up to $20,000 value).
  • Opportunity to apply for seed funding (average $4,500 value).
  • Scheduled check-ins from Purdue MEP to collect data on project status and results.
  • Customized final report showing cost savings, carbon emissions reductions, and waste reductions as well as reductions in permitting, fees, labor, disposal costs, and other expenses (potential $10,000-200,000 value, based on previous results. Results will vary based on specific projects).

What businesses provide:

  • $1,500 for Purdue MEP services (used as matching funds for U.S. EPA grant – this helps ensure a commitment from facilities to remain engaged in the program, but at a significantly reduced cost)
  • Employees who will receive training from Purdue MEP and serve as project leads (approximately 20-25 hours of time)
  • Periodic updates to Purdue MEP on project status (gallons saved, cost savings, emissions reductions, etc.).
  • Permission to share results of the project publicly (Confidential information will not be shared.)

Apply today!

For questions about this program, please contact Kelly Weger at weger@purdue.edu.

About MEP
The Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (tap.purdue.edu) provides high-value solutions to help Indiana businesses maximize their success. As advocates for Indiana’s thousands of manufacturers, our staff identifies areas of improvement, streamlines processes, and ultimately increases competitiveness. Purdue MEP serves over 500 companies annually by implementing continuous improvement principles in the areas of productivity, growth, and technology.

About IDEM
IDEM (idem.IN.gov) implements federal and state regulations regarding the environment. Through compliance assistance, incentive programs and educational outreach, the agency encourages and aids businesses and citizens in protecting Hoosiers and our environment.


HEDC congratulates Ferguson Construction on 100 years in business

Hancock Economic Development Council congratulates Ferguson Construction on 100 years in business.

Ferguson Construction opened its first office in 1920 in Sidney, Ohio. Their Indiana office was established in 2007 in southeast Indiana. In 2018, Ferguson began construction on their office and warehouse on W 200 N in Greenfield.

“We wanted to expand our client base to the Indianapolis area, and Hancock County has great access to getting downtown, and to the I465 loop,” says Andrew Waggoner, Business Development Specialist and an HEDC board member. “With our Corporate HQ in Sidney OH, and other regional offices in Dayton & Columbus, OH the ease of access to I70 played a big factor as well. Hancock County also has a large portfolio of industrial/manufacturing companies, and that is our niche market. The potential for growth in Hancock County played a factor as well.”

Ferguson offers turnkey design/build construction services like surveying, architectural/civil design, pre-construction and self performing labor, primarily in the industrial market. Waggoner says they also have a strong portfolio in commercial, institutional, and healthcare.

“We also have a special projects division that handles projects from installing a new door & frame to interior renovations or tenant improvement projects.”

Hancock Economic Development Council is happy to have Ferguson Construction in Hancock County and as a board member of HEDC.

For more information, contact Ferguson Construction at 317-477-3615 or visit https://ferguson-construction.com.


Youth Program Resilience Fund applications due August 10, 2020

Hancock Economic Development Council would like to make sure that local organizations are aware of the following opportunity:

Lilly Endowment is launching a fund of up to $20 million to help youth serving organizations in Indiana address some of the challenges they face because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Youth Program Resilience Fund (YPRF) is designed to offer support to a variety of organizations so they can better serve the needs of school-age children and youth (ages five to 18).

Applications are due Monday, Aug. 10, 2020.

More information is available at https://lillyendowment.org/news/fund-seeks-to-help-youth-serving-organizations-in-indiana-face-covid-19-challenges/


Employers, job seekers reminded of Next Level Jobs grants

Hancock Economic Development Council would like to make sure that local employers and job seekers are aware of the following opportunities:

The two programs that make up Next Level Jobs, the Workforce Ready Grant (WRG) and Employer Training Grant (ETG), will have increased eligibility, program offerings and funding caps through December 30, 2020.

Individuals can receive free job training for jobs in high-demand fields through the Workforce Ready Grant and $22 million of CARES Act funding is going toward the WRG, enabling at least 10,000 additional Hoosiers to utilize the grant.

The Workforce Ready Grant, administered by the Commission for Higher Education,will be temporarily expanded in the following ways:

  • Hoosiers with two-and four-year degrees are temporarily eligible to receive full tuition reimbursement for short-term Workforce Ready Grant-eligible programs through December 30. (Costs incurred beyond that point will not be reimbursed.)
  • Nearly 50 new certificates have been approved for addition to the current list of eligible programs. Examples of certificate programs that temporarily qualify for the Workforce Ready Grant include Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), Phlebotomy and CNC Machining. Individuals can enroll in some of the new certificate programs now at NextLevelJobs.org with additional programs available for enrollment on the site in the coming weeks. Certificate programs have been selected based on meeting immediate, regional, and emerging workforce needs. Ivy Tech, Vincennes, and the Department of Workforce Development all added programs to the list.
  • The funding cap per individual has been raised from $5,500 to $10,000 to cover high-quality programs that cost more than $5,500 (with program cost frozen at its current level)

The Employer Training Grant, administered by the Department of Workforce Development,supports employers to train new employees, and upskill or reskill incumbent workers. The Employer Training Grant will be temporarily expanded in the following ways, with $15 million of CARES Act funding, enabling 25,000 more Hoosiers to utilize the grant:

  • The maximum amount of funding available to an employer has been raised from $50,000 to $100,000.
  • $5 million will be allocated specifically for minority-, women-,and veteran-owned businesses.

To get more information and enroll in Next Level Jobs, visit NextLevelJobs.org.

Individuals looking to connect with education, employment, and financial resources available in Indiana are encouraged to visit Indiana’s Rapid Recovery hub, YourNextStepIN.org.

Free one-on-one assistance helping Hoosiers navigate the Workforce Ready Grant is available through INvestEd by calling (317) 715-9007.


Indiana businesses encouraged to apply for Manufacturing Readiness Grants

The following news release is from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

INDIANAPOLIS  – Applications for the Manufacturing Readiness Grant program, which Governor Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) first announced in May, are now open to Indiana manufacturers across the state.

The Manufacturing Readiness Grants, administered by the IEDC in partnership with Conexus Indiana, are part of the $10 million Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement (EASE) program designed to stimulate manufacturing investments that will position Hoosier operations, and the sector overall, for future growth and prosperity. Through the program, $4 million is now available to Indiana companies in the form of matching grants, encouraging operational investments for:

  • Companies committing to modernizing their operations by integrating smart technologies and processes in order to improve capacity and efficiencies, and
  • Companies investing in health care manufacturing technology to support critical COVID-19 response efforts.

Indiana startups, small businesses, entrepreneurs and manufacturers investing in these activities may apply for a matching grant up to or equal to the amount of the qualified investment in new equipment and machinery (minimum 1:1 investment match). Funding will be awarded up to $200,000 per company, but matching grants may exceed that threshold for significant projects that will support COVID-19 response efforts, such as the manufacturing of critical personal protective equipment (PPE), testing supplies or vaccines.

To be eligible, applicants must be registered to do business in Indiana with the Secretary of State’s Office and have plans to purchase smart manufacturing or health care manufacturing technology and equipment that will be located and utilized in Indiana. Applicants do not need to be headquartered in Indiana, but grants will be prioritized for companies that maintain their primary operations in Indiana. Applications will be evaluated based on the project’s overall expected impact on the company’s operations (i.e. percentage of resulting smart manufacturing operations); its workforce, training and wage increases; new Hoosier jobs; and the state’s manufacturing capabilities.

Indiana companies are encouraged to submit applications online.

Conexus Indiana, a nonprofit-branded initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), will review and evaluate all grant applications, leveraging a statewide committee of industry and academic professionals. The committee will make grant recommendations to the IEDC for approval and expects to issue an initial round of recommendations in August. Interested companies are encouraged to apply as soon as possible due to high demand.

About Conexus Indiana
For more than a decade, Conexus Indiana, one of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) non-profit initiatives, has been positioning the Hoosier State as the best place for advanced manufacturing and logistics industries to invest, employ and succeed. By collaborating with industry, academic and public sector partners on a shared vision for an innovative, skilled workforce and stronger business climate, Conexus Indiana has helped to create opportunities for advanced manufacturing and logistics companies, prepare Hoosiers to succeed in the state’s largest industry sectors and maintain Indiana’s competitive advantage. For more information, go to www.conexusindiana.com.

About IEDC
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.  


Six spec buildings proposed for western Hancock County

Six more spec buildings have been proposed for the western part of Hancock County.

Carmel-based Lauth Property Group is looking to develop four properties near its 280,000-square foot building underway at County Roads 700 W and 350N.

Red Rock Investment Partners, LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina, wants to develop two spec buildings on about 46 acres west of 700W and north of 200N.

Read the full article from the Greenfield Daily Reporter here.

 


Hotline opens March 24 to help business and industry with Stay-at-Home Order

SOURCE: News release from the Office of Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb

Indiana will open a call center to field industry questions about Governor Eric J. Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-08, which provides for essential and non-essential business operations, infrastructure and government functions while the state observes a stay-at-home order from March 25-April 7.

The Critical Industries Hotline will open Tuesday at 9 a.m. to help guide businesses and industries with the executive order.

This center, reachable by calling 877-820-0890 or by emailing covidresponse@iedc.in.gov, is for business and industry questions only.

Please read Gov. Holcomb’s executive order and this FAQ page to clarify restrictions and acceptable activities and services under Monday’s Executive Order.

All of Gov. Holcomb’s Executive Orders can found here.