The COVID-19 pandemic left many states in a precarious financial situation. Not Indiana.

Thanks to strong, conservative leadership, the Hoosier state was able to manage the economic fallout from the pandemic better than most. A year ago, Indiana’s unemployment skyrocketed to over 17%, but now we’re at 3.9% – well below the national average of 6.7%.

Still, many small businesses and low-wage workers have been negatively impacted over the last year, especially those in the tourism and hospitality industries. The Indiana General Assembly will use part of a projected revenue increase of more than $2 billion over the next two years, as well as $3 billion in emergency federal funding, to support small businesses and workforce training, and position Hoosier communities for economic development and growth.

A new law invests $60 million to bolster the Hoosier Hospitality Small Business Restart Grant. Administered by the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the program provides eligible businesses a grant of up to $50,000 to cover a portion of business and payroll-related expenses. Information on the grant program can be found on the IEDC’s website under the “COVID-19 Updates & Resources” banner at the top of the web page.

To prepare Indiana for the future, the state will invest $500 million in the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative so communities can work together on innovative policies to spur continued economic development and attract new residents.

Lawmakers allocated $75 million to establish the Career Accelerator Fund for educational programs that train Hoosiers for high-wage, high-demand jobs. Another $34 million goes to the Next Level Jobs program that offers tuition-free training grants for residents with a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as $6 million for Workforce Ready Grants. These strategic investments, while continuing to maintain prudent reserves, keeps Indiana’s economic momentum on the right track. Click here to learn more.