Northwest Indiana businesses impacted by the economic downturn during the pandemic can now access federal loan funds made available through the US EDA CARES Act. Administrators for businesses and organizations located in Lake, La Porte, or Porter counties can apply for loans of $10,000 to $100,000 through the Recover NWI loan program, managed by NIRPC, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. Applications are found at www.nirpc.org/recovernwi .
Recover NWI loans are available to Northwest Indiana businesses and organizations of all sizes to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the economic injury resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The loans will provide flexibility for businesses for working capital, job retention, marketing, staffing, and other functions. Construction projects are not eligible.
To be eligible, a business or organization must have been impacted by the pandemic and been in operation before January 1, 2020. Loans can be made between $10,000 and $100,000, repayable at a rate of 2.5% until July, 2022.
Positive economic outcomes for the region are job creation and retention, reduced barriers to private investment, increased regional collaboration, and enhanced regional capacity, including historically excluded populations and regions.
“It’s been a difficult time for small business,” said Ty Warner, NIRPC’s Executive Director. “The availability of the Recover NWI loans could be a lifeline for those businesses that the COVID-19 pandemic pushed to the edge of solvency. If we can support them, we help ensure the economic vibrancy of the entire region as Northwest Indiana recovers from effects of the past year.”
Nearly $583,000 was made available to fund the Recover NWI revolving loan program through the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the US Economic Development Administration (EDA), and the Economic Development District (EDD) for Northwest Indiana, also managed by NIRPC.
"According to March US Census Bureau data, approximately 40% of small businesses believe more than six months will pass before they return to normal business operations," said Denarie Kane, NIRPC's Economic Development District Coordinator. "It is our anticipation that this new loan program can help accelerate this return to normal for our region's businesses."
The Economic Development District (EDD) for Northwest Indiana allows a collaborative economic strategy for Lake, La Porte, and Porter counties. The federal designation, granted through the US EDA, opens availability to federal funds and resources to the three-county region. The EDD was granted to NIRPC in 2019 and first funded in 2020. NIRPC is the designated federal administrator and the central authority for these federal funds.
NIRPC is the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Council of Governments for Lake, Porter, and La Porte counties in Northwest Indiana. Working collaboratively across the region, NIRPC coordinates regional comprehensive planning and programming for transportation, economic development, and environmental policy.
Recover NWI information and application forms can be found on NIRPC's website at: www.nirpc.org/recovernwi
A one-pager about Recover NWI can be found on the NIRPC website at: nwww.nirpc.org/wp-content/uploads/Recover-NWI-Revolving-Loan-Fund-Flyer.pdf