Karickhoff, VanNatter: Bill supporting Indiana’s small businesses, hospitality industry heads to Senate

Last Updated on February 4, 2021 by Indiana House Republicans

SOURCE: News release from Indiana House Republicans

STATEHOUSE —The Indiana House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation that would establish the Hoosier Hospitality Small Business Restart Grant Program, which would support Indiana’s jobs and economy, according to State Reps. Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) and Heath VanNatter (R-Kokomo).

According to the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, the tourism industry employs more than 150,000 individuals and contributes roughly $9.3 billion to Indiana’s economy. A recent National Federation of Independent Business survey revealed small-business owners are worried about their business viability in 2021. Karickhoff said under this bill, struggling businesses experiencing significant losses due to the pandemic, like those in the tourism and hospitality industries, would be eligible to receive funding.

“Small businesses are key economic drivers for communities across our state, and we must continue supporting these job creators as we work to push through the last leg of this pandemic,” Karickhoff said. “Many of our local businesses have worked tirelessly to pivot and change how they do business, and this bill would build on Indiana’s efforts to help them bounce back stronger.”

VanNatter said this grant program would be an extension of the Small Business Restart Program and would continue to be administered by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. Small businesses that qualify could receive a grant to put toward a portion of business and payroll expenses. In addition to receiving state funding, the program could also receive contributions from federal grants, donations and other sources.

“Many of these important industries such as tourism and hospitality have experienced significant losses in the past year,” VanNatter said. “The Hoosier Hospitality Small Business Restart Fund has the potential to help small businesses that were hit hardest by the pandemic to receive funding to use for qualified expenses and help keep their doors open.”

House Bill 1004 heads to the Senate for further consideration. For more information, visit iga.in.gov.