INDIANAPOLIS — The Small Business Administration and Indiana Chamber of Commerce are offering support and resources to businesses and organizations affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

On Wednesday night, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a disaster declaration for the state of Indiana, offering financial assistance for Hoosier small businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the state.

According to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the declaration is in response to a formal request Governor Eric J. Holcomb submitted with the SBA on March 17, seeking assistance through the organization’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

“Small businesses play a critical role in driving Indiana’s economy forward, with more than 512,000 employing 1.2 million Hoosiers across the state,” Holcomb said. “These disaster loans will provide much needed financial support to small business owners who are weathering the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Under the program, small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and nonprofits across the state are eligible to apply for low-interest loans up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills incurred during this public health emergency. The loan interest rates for small businesses and nonprofits are 3.75 percent and 2.75 percent, respectively, with terms up to 30 years.

To qualify for disaster loans, the IEDC said applicants must demonstrate credit history, the ability to repay the loan, and proof of physical presence in Indiana and working capital losses. Additionally, the Indiana Small Business Development Center, which has 10 regional offices throughout the state, will provide free business advising and application assistance for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

To apply for loans or receive more information about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, visit SBA.gov/Disaster. Contact 1-800-659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov with additional questions.

The deadline to apply is Dec. 18.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is also trying to provide COVID 19 resources to state business by creating a statewide employer resource page providing information under three umbrellas: Health, Tools You Can Use and Government and Community Assistance.

The group is also taking specific business questions that will be answered by staff and private sector professionals.

“The Indiana Chamber has been around for nearly 100 years and we’re not going anywhere,” said Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “We are here for employers, local chambers and business groups in every county in the state.”

The site – www. indianachamber.com/ coronavirus – features guidance on key workplace and legal topics, a coronavirus toolkit and information on unemployment insurance from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, in addition to providing health and other government resources.

All information on the site, Brinegar stresses, “is for any Indiana business or organization to use – no Indiana Chamber membership is required.

“We will have additional free information opportunities for member companies. An upcoming one includes a free legal webinar on Monday.”

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