January 18, 2022

State initiative aims to help Indiana small businesses, entrepreneurs grow

(Screenshot of the Indiana Small Business Development Center website)

(Screenshot of the Indiana Small Business Development Center website)

State officials are encouraging Indiana small business owners looking for support to grow their businesses to apply for the Indiana Technical Assistance Program (INTAP). The statewide initiative works with business owners to help overcome technology and other barriers that may be holding them back.

Each small business can apply for up to $15,000 with the expectation that businesses also contribute matching funds. The money can be used to address technical issues from app and technology development to business management systems.

Officials said the program has continued to grow over the last six years and has been transformational especially during the pandemic when companies have been looking at digital innovation. 

David Watkins is the Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) state director and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation vice president of small business. He said the program is one small step to help Hoosier entrepreneurs grow.

“Small business development is big business for the state of Indiana,” said Watkins. “It drives our economy forward. And not many people realize it, but 99.4 percent of the businesses in the state of Indiana are small businesses.”

Watkins said they are targeting between 20 to 30 businesses for the program this year.

“This is really a strategy for investing in our homegrown businesses,” he said. “These are people who have already decided and [are] taking the path of entrepreneurship across the state, and empowering them to do better – to make more money, to develop a new product, to jump into a new market.”

Eligible projects for Indiana small businesses looking to apply includes:

  • Be able to be completed between July 1, 2022 and Dec. 31, 2022
  • Positively impact the small business
  • Not include the purchase of assets or the maintenance and upkeep of a business (including but are not limited to purchasing new equipment, paying rent, buying advertising, or resolving debt)
  • Not include digital marketing (including but not limited to, social media management, marketing plans, and advertisements)

Those interested in applying can go to the Indiana Small Business Development Center's website for more details on eligibility. The deadline to apply is Feb. 20, 2022.

Contact reporter Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.

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