Caesars Foundation grants $250,000 for Community and Cultural Relief Loan Program

Published in the News and Tribune on April 23, 2020

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Officials from One Southern Indiana (1si), the chamber of commerce and economic development organization for Clark and Floyd counties, and the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County (CFFC) have announced a grant of $250,000 from CFFC, to assist Floyd County businesses through the new zero interest revolving loan program, the Community and Cultural Relief Loan Program. This will allow for a second round of loans for businesses in Floyd County.

“The Caesars Foundation of Floyd County’s board of directors is happy to step forward and provide $250,000 to assist businesses hurt deeply by the current pandemic. Our focus on Floyd County restaurants, and other ‘quality of place’ industries, allows us to ensure the gains made over the past several years in downtown New Albany, Georgetown and other areas are not lost,” said Jerry Finn, executive director of CFFC, in a news release. “We will continue to work with One Southern Indiana, the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana and other partners to try and mitigate the damage of the current crisis, allowing our communities to emerge stronger on the other side.”

This will be the second phase of the Community and Culture Relief Loan Program. Unlike phase one, the $250,000 Caesar Foundation grant is earmarked for businesses in Floyd County only. All eligible businesses must be locally owned and operated in Floyd County, have a physical location outside of the home and be in the food service, retail, salon/spa services or entertainment venues. For a complete list of approved business types, click here. Recipients of the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County Revolving Loan program or the recent COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Forgivable Loan program within the past six months are not eligible.

The Southeast Indiana Small Business Development Center (Southeast ISBDC) has been instrumental in helping businesses apply for the loan funds in the past month.

“We are so fortunate to work in a community with such a wide variety of small businesses, but also local organizations who can assist in times of trouble. The team at the Southeast Indiana Small Business Development Center is working hard to ensure Southern Indiana businesses have the resources they need to survive the ordered shut-down and recover,” Kari Johnson, regional director of the Southeast ISBDC, said in the release. “Whether it is through the SBA loans funded through the CARES Act or local initiatives like the Community and Cultural Relief Loan Program, any small business can call or email our office and a team member will assist in answering their questions.”

Loan applications and related documents are being accepted now, with the deadline for requests being 5 p.m. on Friday, May 1, 2020. Loan amounts up to $25,000 will be considered. Loans above $15,000 will only be granted for extenuating circumstances and will require personal guarantees from business owner(s). Terms for this loan will be 60 months, with the first payment due on Oct. 1, 2020. Payments toward loan balances will be made to the CFFC and be utilized to assist future emergency needs for small businesses.

Funds will be awarded based on demonstrated need and may only be used to assist with overhead and operating costs such as payroll expenses, rent and utilities.

The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana will continue to accept contributions and make referrals to the loan program as part of its recently announced COVID-19 emergency funding initiative. Contributions may be made at the CFSI website, Donors simply work through the steps and choose “Small Business” as their giving choice. If desired, donations may be designated for businesses in specific counties or municipalities.

“It is amazing that $971,000 has been contributed by municipalities, county governments and local foundations over the past thirty days to directly assist businesses in Southern Indiana in danger of closing their doors,” said 1si President and CEO Wendy Dant Chesser.

To apply for the Community and Cultural Relief Lan Program, visit the website.

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IT'S OFFICIAL: The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana has been awarded a $5 MILLION Matching Grant from the Lilly Endowment! Learn how you can help us award an estimated additional $200,000 in local grants - a 50% annual increase - each year. Forever.

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