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3/30/2020 Press Release
$360,000 Raised for Southern Indiana Direct Business Assistance

One Southern Indiana, Caesars Foundation of Floyd County and Community Foundation of Southern Indiana Join to Form Emergency Loan Fund for Local Businesses

$360,000 Committed So Far from Local Government Entities and Nonprofits to Assist Businesses

March 31, 2020 (New Albany, Ind.) – Officials from One Southern Indiana (1si), the chamber of commerce and economic development organization for Clark and Floyd counties, Ind., the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana (CFSI) and the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County (CFFC) announced today the formation of the an emergency loan fund to assist local businesses adversely affected by the Corona Virus pandemic. The fund, which is being administered by the CFFC, will make available forgivable loans of up to $10,000 to businesses in Clark and Floyd counties.

Part of the 1si Cares Initiative, which launched last week, the loan fund guidelines and application will be housed on 1si’s corona virus response website at www.1si.org/covid-19, as well as the CFFC website at www.caesarsfoundationfc.org. Those interested in receiving assistance must submit an application, which will be reviewed by the current Caesars Foundation of Floyd County Revolving Loan Fund Committee. Members of the committee are made up of community and business leaders from both Clark and Floyd counties.

With 1si and CFSI being organizations with donors and members in both Clark and Floyd counties, it was important the loan fund be available to businesses throughout Southern Indiana.

“When the idea was presented to us, the over-arching priority was to make the funds available as quickly and as fairly as possible,” said Jerry Finn, executive director of the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County (CFFC). “With the CFFC small business revolving loan fund committee already in place, and containing members from both Clark and Floyd counties, the choice to use the existing committee became the most logical and expedient choice. CFFC is proud to be a part of the effort and will assist in any way we can.”

In addition to operating in Clark or Floyd counties, eligible businesses must have been in operation for two years or longer, or have received revolving loan funding or bank financing, and have no federal or state liens or outstanding judgments. Loans from $2,500 to $10,000 will be considered and require no collateral. Borrowers will be required to make repayment on the zero percent interest loan in amount of $100 per month, beginning October 1st, 2020, with payments through December 1st, 2021. With regular and on-time payments, the remaining balance ($8,500 on a $10,000 loan) will be forgiven if the business operates successfully through December of 2021.

CFSI President and CEO Linda Speed said, “During times like this we all come together and do what we can to make a difference. As our community’s partner in philanthropy, the Community Foundation is proud to join 1si in the Small Business Emergency Loan Program. This effort to assist affected businesses goes hand-in-hand with the Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund, which is providing support grants to nonprofits whose operations address the basic needs of vulnerable populations that have been affected by the pandemic. The more that we can do, and the more we all come together – individuals, organizations, local government and private funders – the more we can do to help those most adversely affected and the better off our community will be.”

The initial funding for $30,000 was provided by the OSI Foundation, which previously received a $30,000 grant from the Paul Ogle Foundation in order to fund entrepreneurship initiatives. The OSI Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, charitable fund administered through the CFSI to be used exclusively for economic development efforts by 1si.

In addition, the BlueSky Foundation has committed to $100,000. Madison Hamman, representing the BlueSky Foundation said, “We understand this is an unprecedented time for any business in our community. We view small businesses as the heartbeat of Southern Indiana and great contributors to the culture we know and love. We want to be sure these businesses can weather this storm and that our community can come back stronger than ever.”

Pam Ottersbach, director of Southern Indiana, Metro United Way added, “Organizations like ours are uniquely situated to act quickly during a crisis such as this. This is why the Metro United Way, Southern Indiana Advisory Council agreed to partner on this effort with a grant of $5,000. It is our mission to support trusted partners to assist the community and this is a great example of that mission. We are happy to assist.”

The Floyd County Commission, the City of New Albany and the Town of Clarksville have each pledged $50,000 and designated their funds be used exclusively for the businesses in Floyd County, New Albany and Clarksville, respectfully.

Floyd County Commission President Shawn Carruthers spoke to the needs of businesses. “Successful businesses are the foundation of the recent strides we have made in Floyd County. From the renaissance of downtown New Albany to development of Novaparke in Georgetown, business is bettering the living, working and shopping experience for all Floyd County residents,” said Carothers. “We are proud to step up and assist the businesses most severely hurt by the current Covid-19 outbreak.”

New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan added, “The City of New Albany is proud to support this effort to assist businesses in New Albany, and Southern Indiana as a whole. It is in times of crisis elected officials must concentrate on the efforts that will bring the most benefit to the most people – both short-term and long-term. Supporting businesses in New Albany that have been devastated by this outbreak will not only shorten the recovery time but also ensure the city doesn’t lose the growth momentum it has been building for the past several years.”

“As the retail corridor of Southern Indiana, the adverse effect the ‘stay-at-home’ order is having on many of the business in Clarksville is troubling,” said Ryan Ramsey, Clarksville town council president. “If we can help these businesses stay afloat by contributing $50,000 until they receive federal assistance, we are proud to do so.”

Funding requests for this business assistance program have been sent and are being considered by other governmental organizations in Southern Indiana. A request for additional funding from Clark County has been made and is being evaluated through a cooperative effort between the county commissioners and the county council.

In order to get much needed assistance to Sellersburg businesses, the Town of Sellersburg has also pledged financial support to the forgivable loan effort. Pending approval for the commitment at its meeting this evening, the Town Council is preparing to contribute $25,000 to the fund. The town has designated its funds for businesses within the Town of Sellersburg.

“The Town Council of Sellersburg has been looking at ways to help our businesses,” said Town Manager Charlie Smith, “these are challenging times for everyone, including Sellersburg commerce, and it affects the livelihoods of a lot of people. We hope this forgivable loan initiative will help our businesses and their employees get through this dark period.”

Municipalities, private foundations, organizations and citizens interested in providing direct assistance to local small businesses are invited to contribute to the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Forgivable Loan Program through the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana. Contributions may be made at the CFSI website, https://www.cfsouthernindiana.com/giving-planning/give-today/. Donors simply work through the steps and choose “Small Business” as their giving choice. All donations may be designated for businesses in specific counties or municipalities.

President and CEO of 1si Wendy Dant Chesser commented, “Now is the time for all citizens and leaders of Southern Indiana to come together to fight the effects of this health crisis. First and foremost, stay safe and healthy. Only a slight second is to care for the wellbeing of all our Southern Indiana neighbors, including our businesses. A year from now, when we look back, we want to be able to say, ‘We met the challenge, took care of each other and came out of it stronger and more united than ever.’”

About One Southern Indiana:
One Southern Indiana (1si) was formed in July of 2006 from the Economic Development organization serving Clark and Floyd counties and the Chamber of Commerce. 1si’s mission is to provide the connections, resources and services that help businesses innovate and thrive in the Southern Indiana / Louisville metro area.

Since its inception, the organization has evolved to include a three-prong approach to serve its members and investors. Business Resources, as the chamber side of the organization, encompasses membership, signature events and programs which support and encourage business growth; Economic Development works to grow the regional economy through the attraction of new commerce and assists with retention and expansion of existing businesses; Advocacy supports businesses at the government level by engaging in the initiatives to preserve, protect and promote a business friendly environment free of obstacles to growth and development of commerce. More information on One Southern Indiana is available at www.1si.org.


Media Contacts:
One Southern Indiana — Wendy Dant Chesser, (812) 945-0266, Wendy@1si.org