Indianapolis and the Indy Chamber established a fund to help small businesses. The goal is to raise $10 million for food service, retail and other small businesses hit hard by closures related to COVID-19.
The new Rapid Response Loan Fund already raised nearly $3 million, including $1.5 million from the city. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says businesses need this money now.
"To stay solvent, avoid layoffs and prepare for the economic recovery that is sure to come," says Hogsett.
The announcement came with a call for other community leaders and large area businesses to give to the fund.
Indy Chamber President Michael Huber says the loans will serve as a bridge.
"There is a need for speed to get working capital to a number of businesses to be complementary to the federal support that is coming," says Huber.
Businesses applying for federal help may have to wait weeks. Money from this new fund could help with immediate needs including rent and staff.
Hogsett says the new fund will help businesses until the stay at home order is lifted.
"Because when the time comes, when it is safe to reopen shops, we’re going to need them," says Hogsett, "Right now they need us."
Public and private groups that have already committed funds include The Capital Improvement Board, LISC Indianapolis, Indianapolis Local Public Improvement Bond Bank and Anthem.
The Rapid Response Loan Fund is administered by Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) at