RESOURCES IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS

In response to the COVID-19, the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has made all of the resources available to you on one page. The Whitley County EDC is encouraging the use of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page for official protocols and follow the recommendations of the Whitley County Health Department.

The Whitley County EDC team is working in the office as of May 4, 2020, but still restricting office traffic to appointments only. Please call the office Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to schedule an appointment.

EDC Team Contact Information
Dale Buuck, EDC President, dbuuck@whitleyedc.com
Beverly Flanagan, Office Administrator, bflanagan@whitleyedc.com
Riley Hollenbaugh, Workforce and Community Development Director, rhollenbaugh@whitleyedc.com
Kennedy St George, Marketing Director, kstgeorge@whitleyedc.com

Businesses

City of Columbia City Offers Loan Program
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Columbia City Redevelopment Commission has established the Columbia City Small Business Recovery Loan Program. The program is intended to provide access to operating capital to specific small businesses within Columbia City, whose operations and cash flow have been negatively impacted by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Qualified business categories include locally owned and operated restaurants, boutiques, salons, and retail that are not part of a national chain or franchise. 

Funds will be awarded based on demonstrated need and must be used exclusively for overhead and/or operational expenses (i.e., payroll expenses, rent, utilities). The Columbia City Small Business Recovery Loan Program Committee will determine funding eligibility, review applications and documents, and require details explaining the need and proposed use of funds from the business owner(s). Financial information submitted as part of the application will not be disclosed to the public.

IU Kelley School of Business Offers Help to Shift Business to Online
To help small companies in Indiana hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the Indiana University Kelley School of Business is offering no-cost assistance to businesses needing to shift operations online, while also providing paid internship opportunities for its students.

Indiana PPE Material Marketplace is Live

Indiana Readies PPE Material Marketplace
(May 1, 2020) – Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced a new marketplace for personal protective equipment (PPE) that will serve as an added resource for Indiana small businesses returning to work in the coming weeks. The Indiana Small Business PPE Marketplace, which is expected to launch next week, will ensure reliable access to PPE for small businesses and nonprofits lacking the resources needed to comply with safe workplace guidance during the reopening. 

Small Business Resource Brief, from Indiana Municipal Power Agency
Document regarding available federal programs to assist small businesses in your community that has been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.

COVID-19 Resource Page, Tax Business and Industry Insights

Lear Corporation’s Safe Work Playbook


Senator Braun’s Business Resource Letter
This letter includes the details of the following:
SBA Disaster Loans
Families First Coronavirus Response, Paid Leave Eligibility
Small Business Interruption Loans

Startup Financial Management for a Potential Downturn
View Elevate Ventures newsletter and resources about financial management during COVID-19.
View the newsletter

What’s an Essential Business?
Following Governor Holcomb’s address, we’ve had several questions about the essential businesses. Please review the guidance link.
https://www.in.gov/gov/3232.htm
Essential Business Guidelines News Release, March 25.

Purdue MEP Creates Forum for Manufacturing Discussion
To show our commitment to the manufacturing industry during this difficult time, Purdue MEP has created an Indiana Manufacturing Community Discussion Forum that’s open to all companies to engage one another on topics pertaining to COVID-19. Specifically, how it’s effecting them and the measures being taken to continue operations while ensuring the health and safety of employees.

It is our hope this platform is a means for sharing innovative practices and policies. We understand that some of these topics are sensitive, and because of that, we’ve created it so you can submit questions and comments anonymously without logging into a platform. 

We hope everyone remains safe and healthy.

Sincerely,
Purdue University MEP

FREE Weeklong Webinar Series to Identify and Leverage Critical Resources
gener8tor in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, announced today a new initiative supporting Indiana small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Under the Emergency Response Program, small businesses and entrepreneurs will have access to a free, week-long webinar series designed to identify and leverage critical resources in order to weather this ongoing public health crisis.

Deadline to signup: March 25 at 11:59 p.m. 
The program begins: March 30 

Indiana Governor Extends Mandates
Schools Closed Until May 1
Penalties for Late Property Tax Payments Waived
Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Indiana Secures Federal Disaster Assistance Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
VIEW OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE FROM THE STATE
Small businesses are invited to apply for loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

To qualify for disaster loans, 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, 2020.
A step by step guide through the application pages can be found below.  If you have additional questions, the best way to reach out to the Whitley County EDC business advisor from Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center is via email at goskowis@pfw.edu or sgoskowicz@isbdc.in.gov .

Indiana Economic Development Corporation Resources
Resources for Chamber and Your Businesses
Resources for the Indiana Tourism Industry
Department of Workforce Development’s COVID-19 Information

Small Business Administration Resources
As Coronavirus continues making headlines, many small businesses may wonder how to cope.  The SBA is committed to helping.  We are working with the Indiana governor’s office, state and federal agencies, our resource partners, and local entities developing strategies and tools for economic success.  Here are some links:

For detailed information on SBA programs for the Coronavirus, visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus
For information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/espanol (en Español)

Counseling & Advice

  • For no-cost, one-on-one virtual or telephone business advice regarding COVID-19 and other matters find an SBA Resource Partners near you at www.SBA.gov/local-assistance

Funding

  • For capital needs, Lender Match is SBA’s free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders. Lender Match can be accessed by small businesses any time, regardless of if or when disaster loans become available. www.SBA.gov/lendermatch
  • Once a disaster declaration is made for Indiana, information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) assistance will be updated at www.SBA.gov/disaster. These loans up to $2 million may be used by small businesses as well as private nonprofits to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

Contracting

  • If a situation occurs that will prevent small businesses with federal government contracts from successfully performing, they should reach out to their contracting officer and seek extensions before they receive cure notices or threats of termination. SBA’s Procurement Center Analyst in Indianapolis can help affected small businesses engage with their contracting officer.

Small Business Assistance
The Indiana Small Business Development Center is collecting data on behalf of the State of Indiana to provide more clarity and to work toward the ability to apply for disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. If you need assistance navigating the application, contact Lori Shipman, Whitley County EDC Community Development Consultant.

Unemployment/Employers

April 29, 2020 | Indiana Updated Unemployment FAQ from Northeast Indiana Works
Updates appear in red lettering.

FPUC – Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
Please find information related to the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program issued by Department of Workforce Development.
Content from Northeast Indiana Works.

Strategically Respond in the Workplace
View protocols and gameplans for moving forward during and after Covid-19.

April 10, 2020 | Lear Corporation Work Safe Playbook

April 10, 2020 | Lear Corporation Work Safe Playbook

April 6, 2020 | Self-employed Hoosiers Are Eligible for Assistance
Self-employed individuals are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) through the CARES act.
https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/INARTS/bulletins/2849f1c

April 6, 2020 | Additional COVID-19 Information for Indiana Employers
INDIANAPOLIS (April 6, 2020)  – The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) would like to assist employers and agents during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please review the COVID-19 Employer FAQs at www.unemployment.in.gov.
If you are laying off employees, please remember that you have a legal obligation to provide unemployment insurance benefits information to your employees at the time of separation from employment. Please provide the below message to your employees at a minimum:
Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits are available to workers who are unemployed and who meet the requirements of state UI eligibility laws. You may file a UI claim in the first week that employment stops or work hours are reduced.
For assistance or more information about filing a UI claim (or questions about the status of your UI claim once filed), visit www.unemployment.in.gov. You will need to provide the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) with the following information in order for the state to process your claim:

  • A valid email account – your email address will become your Uplink Username.
  • Driver’s license or valid ID, address, Social Security number, date of birth and phone number.
  • Last employer’s name, mailing address, phone number, dates of employment and reason you are unemployed.
  • Bank routing number and account number if choosing direct deposit as your payment option (NOTE: Key2Benefits prepaid MasterCard® is also available).

The above notice can be provided to your employees as a letter, email, text message, or flyer/poster. Additionally, click here to download a UI brochure to send to your employees.

April 2, 2020 | Indiana Department of Workforce Development Answers Your Questions About Unemployment Benefits
Josh Richardson with Department of Workforce Development spoke to WANE TV yesterday about Unemployment Insurance including the Uplink system, the additional $600, work search requirements and self-employment / independent contractors.  You can read the questions and answers here: https://www.wane.com/top-stories/indiana-department-of-workforce-development-answers-your-questions-about-unemployment-benefits/

Latest Unemployment FAQ

View Whitley County’s Unemployment Claimants
Whitley County’s latest unemployment count can be found at this link.

Stimulus Check Amounts and What They Mean
This article was written for the Washington Post and includes a calculator to estimate how much your stimulus check will be. Featured in Senator Jim Banks’ newsletter.
View Senator Banks’ newsletter

Northeast Indiana Provides Unemployment Insurance Resources
If your company is planning a mass layoff, it would assist the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) if you could provide employee-specific information.  This will assist DWD in processing unemployment insurance (UI) claims more quickly for your impacted staff. The information requested is: Full Name of Employee, Employee SSN, Last Day Worked, Amount of deductible income paid to claimant upon layoff (vacation, sick, PTO, etc).  A spreadsheet is attached to assist but DWD will take the information in another format if easier.  Also, note that you will receive many notices from DWD about those employee separations; please respond to those notices that you deem necessary. A DWD claims investigator will contact you directly if they have any questions.  Please return the completed spreadsheet to: Employverification@dwd.IN.gov

Please share with your employees that unemployment insurance must be filed online, using a computer, tablet or smartphone. Online filing information can be found at www.Unemployment.IN.gov. Individuals should review the Frequently Asked Questions, the Claimant Handbook and/or the online video tutorials on this page. We are asking all employers that if you have the means to assist your employees by allowing them to file for UI from your business, please assist as you can.  Any assistance you can provide in getting these important benefits to your employees while preventing the spread of this disease is greatly appreciated.

Leslie Crist
Associate Chief of Workforce Programs
Indiana Department of Workforce Development
10 N. Senate Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-233-4010

These links include unemployment insurance tutorials, frequently asked questions and a one-page flyer on unemployment insurance basics.
https://www.in.gov/dwd/19.htm
https://www.in.gov/dwd/3474.htm

Job Loss
Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development has launched a site to help those who may have lost (or will lose) their jobs due to the coronavirus. www.in.gov/dwd/19.htm

Other Resources

Town of Churubusco Hosts Town Alerts
Reach Alert allows the town to share immediate information about civic events and town alerts.
Each household can register up to four phone numbers and four email addresses.
Go to reachalert.com and click on MY ACCOUNT
Select CREATE ACCOUNT and follow the prompts for the network name CHURUBUSCO.
If you have any questions or experience any difficulty, please contact REACH Alert at 877.307.9313.

News Release from Commissioners for the Whitley County Government Building//Limited Restriction
The Whitley County EDC office shares space with the government building and will be following the same procedures beginning March 19. Please review the press release for any county government contacts. The EDC office number is 260.244.5506.

Business Practices
Guidance for Business and Employers from the CDC.