NIRPC Awarded Economic Recovery Grants

Learn more about economic recovery grants

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Businesses across the United States have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. The federal government is giving grants to businesses owned by women and minority groups. Recently, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) received two grants from the federal Economic Development Administration to aid LaPorte, Lake, and Porter counties. Read on to learn more about the economic recovery grants.

NIRPC Receives Grants to Help Small Businesses

Many businesses in Northwest Indiana have been struggling in the past five months. The federal Economic Development Administration awarded two Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Grants to the NIRPC. The commission will use them to help businesses in the region recover from COVID-19. The first Recovery Assistant Grant amounts to over $580,000. The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission will use it to create a Regional Revolving Loan Fund for startups and small businesses in LaPorte, Lake and Porter Counties.

Ty Warner, the Executive Director of the NIRPC, said that nobody predicted the Coronavirus outbreak in the country. But the commission's induction as an Economic Development District took place at the right time. The regional economy and small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic. The financial resources that the NIRPC received will aid in North American economic recovery soon. 

Warner is grateful for EDA's partnership. The new recovery program of the NIRPC will help small businesses that experienced severe and sudden economic dislocation due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Some of the efforts that the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission is making include hiring more workers to increase technical assistance and capacity building.

The commission received a second CARES Act Grant worth $400,000 that will help it create an economic resiliency plan for the region. It will help businesses recover from COVID-19 and other disasters and pandemics in the future. The NIRPC will use $53,000 from the grants to run an economic recovery management plan for Lake, LaPorte and Porter Counties.

Economic Recovery in Northwestern Indiana

Gabrielle Biciunas, the Economic Development District Coordinator, said that the development administration will soon reveal details of its loan program. Small business owners will repay the loans to the revolving loan fund, thus making them available for other investors in the region. The Economic Development Administration designated the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission an economic resiliency program.

The commission will also establish a regional loan program. Warner stated that the NIRPC was administering a revolving loan program in LaPorte County before the Coronavirus outbreak occurred. The commission will increase two more staff positions to run its new programs.

The Executive Director said that economic development is part of the commission's mission. Even so, its role in environmental planning and regional transportation has overshadowed this mission. The NIRPC wasn't in charge of economic development in the Lake, LaPorte and Porter Counties until recently. The two CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grants will fund long and short-term economic development in the region.

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission has different activities and programs. They prohibit discrimination based on age, color, disability, familial status, genetic information, national origin, religion, and sex. The commission programs and plans economic development, environmental policy, and transportation in Lake, LaPorte and Porter Counties.

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