Ready to Restart grants still available to help Marion County businesses re-open safely:
Small employers can get up to $5,000 in reimbursements for PPE, sanitizing stations and other COVID-related reopening costs
(June 19, 2020) Today, Marion County enters a new phase of re-opening the local economy – but there’s still time for small businesses to get help paying for precautions to keep employees and customers safe through the ‘Ready to Restart’ grant program, a partnership between the City of Indianapolis and the Indy Chamber.
Moving to Phase 4 of the Back on Track Indiana plan means Marion County restaurants and retailers are open for indoor dining and shopping up to 75% of capacity (from 50%), along with malls and library branches. Gyms and fitness centers move to 100% capacity, while bars and nightclubs re-open at 50% (read the full order here).
But re-opening can only proceed with strict adherence to social distancing rules and safety measures. That means increased business costs, for masks and other protective equipment for employees, hand sanitizing stations and other disinfecting supplies, physical dividers and much more. These expenses can make a big impact on small businesses, especially with cash flow already disrupted by COVID.
The City of Indianapolis and the Indy Chamber have joined forces to use a portion of the city’s CARES Act (federal COVID-19 aid) funding to help entrepreneurs and small business owners make these purchases through ‘Ready to Restart’ grants up to $5,000 for eligible reimbursements. Since its launch just over a week ago, the program has approved over $300,000 to Marion County small business owners.
Any Indianapolis business meeting the following criteria can apply for ‘Ready to Restart’ support:
- Must be a private, for-profit business with 150 employees or fewer
- Must be located and registered in Marion County
- Must have a business start date prior to 2/15/2020
- Must have purchased PPE, modified supplies (like washable menus), professional cleaning and disinfection services, and/or capital improvements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to comply with the State of Indiana and Marion County Public Health Department reopening guidelines between 5/1/2020 – 7/31/2020.
Small business owners need to keep their receipts to be reimbursed by Ready to Restart Grants. A business can only apply once, with grants awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications for the program opened on July 10th, and plenty of resources remain for companies to cover costs they already incurred preparing for Stage 4 and as they plan for Stage 5 in July.