A new round of state grants to help communities and businesses working through hardships created by the pandemic is now accepting applications.
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced a third phase of the COVID-19 Response Program.
“The COVID-19 Response Program is more critical than ever, not only because it helps local communities that are working to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because it helps communities prepare for future transitions on their own terms,” Crouch said. “With additional federal funding, we were able to provide an additional round of this valued program.”
Since April, OCRA began addressing the impact of COVID-19 on Indiana communities. The agency has since awarded 112 grants to 62 communities, totaling more than $20.9 million through the COVID-19 Response Program.
La Porte County was among the previous grant recipients, which made dollars available to county-based businesses through the La Porte County Action Fund.
The state said for the latest round of grants, eligible applicants can apply for up to $250,000 and include non-entitlement and entitlement local units of government. Eligible activities include mental health services, childcare services, public WiFi locations, food pantry or bank services, subsidence payment programs, or grants or loans to businesses to retain low-to-moderate jobs.
The state said the third phase of the grant program is a competitive process but communities, which received an award in either previous phase may apply again.
“Based on additional research and community feedback, OCRA was able to open this round to municipalities of all sizes,” said Denny Spinner, executive director of OCRA. “Our main goal is to continue to address COVID-19 and remind communities that we are in this together.”
Proposals are being accepted until 11:59 p.m. EST Friday, Jan. 29. However, applicants are encouraged to submit by 4 p.m. EST as there will be no technical support available after that time.
Proposal submission will be collected via the electronic grants management system. Applications are due by Feb. 26 with funding awards announced on April 1.