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The widespread practice of “social distancing” in response to the spread of COVID-19 is dramatically reducing the revenue of small businesses in every community, and it will have disproportionate financial impacts on small minority businesses and those serving traditionally disinvested communities. These businesses are less likely to have the cash reserves, access to credit, funds to support paid leave, and ability to work remotely that will sustain many other industries.
The LISC Perspective:
The LISC Response:
Support our neighborhood partners:
Neighborhoods are rallying. We are amazed at the immediate, creative and courageous response from neighborhood leaders, rising to the occasion to serve their communities. LISC funds many community-based organizations that are leading the fight against COVID in their neighborhoods, including, but not limited to:
LISC has added flexibility into our neighborhood partner grants to allow them to flexibly lead the COVID response in their communities. LISC Bridges to Career Opportunities sites have become centers for navigating the stimulus benefits, specifically unemployment insurance benefits. In addition, LISC has invested in our partners’ technology in order to stay connected to their communities and safely work from home.
Support borrowers and continue to lend:
Working with borrowers to be flexible in terms of repayment terms, amending loans when necessary, but also continuing to lend. (For a summary one pager of our lending priorities at the moment, see here)
Support small businesses:
LISC has partnered with Kiva, an international crowdlending platform, since 2015 to help increase access for entrepreneurs in neighborhoods LISC serves. In response to COVID19, Kiva has increased loan size and a grace period on repayment to meet increased need. Kiva loans are 0% interest and zero fee for the borrower and are great for small businesses with a broad social network. Through the LISC-Kiva partnership, LISC can match loans from the crowd dollar for dollar up to a total loan value $15,000 to help the borrower reach their loan goal faster and broaden their marketing impact. If a business is specifically interested in this opportunity, please contact Emily Scott firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to view the flyer.
LISC Small Business Relief Grants: Small businesses across the country are confronting extreme economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial support at this critical time can make the difference between staying in business or closing permanently, leading to lost income, jobs and economic stability. Thanks to support from funders like Verizon and Sam's Club, LISC National is providing grants to small businesses, to help them keep functioning and remain vital facets of their local economies through this challenging period. Applications must be submitted by Tuesday, April 28 at 11:59 PM EST. Click here to review grant overview, FAQs and eligibility.
LISC Indianapolis is offering $5,000 grants to help minority, immigrant or women-owned small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
National LISC has created a COVID-19 hub that provides up-to-date information on small business assistance including grants and low-interest loans, resources for borrowers and grantees, federal policy priorities and more. Please check back often for updates.
Indy Chamber Rapid Response Hub
The Indy Chamber Rapid Response Hub is positioned as a portal for resources as they come online. It also has some guidance for businesses to consider from resources like the IU Kelly School of Business. The Indy Chamber Business Ownership Initiative provides microloans of up to $50,000 for small businesses. The Indy Chamber also provides Payroll Protection Program lending.
Bankable, nonprofit lender based in Anderson, has developed a new QuickBridge Loan ranging from $500 - $50,000 in specific response to businesses in Indiana experiencing cash flow challenges, supply chain disruptions, etc. due to COVID-19.
Arts and Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
The Arts Council has launched an Arts and Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for artists and small nonprofit arts organizations. These rapid response grants will be awarded to individuals who experienced financial hardship due to event, production and performance cancellations.
Central Indiana COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund
The Central Indiana COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund was launched on March 13, 2020, to help ensure individuals, children and families in need are supported during this pandemic. United Way of Central Indiana and a coalition of partners are working with the human services sector to identify these immediate needs and make emergency funds available to organizations working directly with vulnerable populations.
Indiana Small Business Development Center: Small Business Resource Guide
The Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) was created to have a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of small businesses in Indiana, and to help Hoosier Entrepreneurs start stronger, grow faster, and work smarter. Click here for a COVID-19 SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCE GUIDE.
While researchers are still exploring the connection between Coronavirus fatalities and underlying risk factors, some demographic and health characteristics are thought to increase a person's risk for severe symptoms or death. Using demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau and estimates of neighborhood health data from the CDC's 500 Cities Project, we can estimate areas with high-risk populations. Click here to see the map.