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Date ArticleType
4/16/2020 Press Release
New Caesars Foundation Community and Cultural Relief Loan Program Announced

Contributors Give $300,000 to Assist Local Businesses with Recovery

April 16, 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 a new zero interest revolving loan program designed to assist public businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis with recovery efforts.

Applications for this loan program will be accepted beginning today, with the deadline for requests being April 22, 2020. The application and information on eligibility and terms can be found at the 1si Cares website, at Businesses interested in applying for support must be locally owned and operated in Clark or Floyd counties, have a physical location outside of the home and be in the food service, retail, salon/spa services or entertainment venues. 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 BlueSky Foundation has issued a grant of $250,000 to assist businesses in Clark and Floyd counties and challenged the community to give additional funds to this initiative. The Floyd County Commission rose to the challenge, giving $50,000 to be used exclusively for business loans granted within Floyd County. All monies given to the CFSI for this program will be granted to the CFFC, which has generously offered to administer the loan program and disperse funds to those businesses receiving a loan.

Madison Hamman, representing the BlueSky Foundation said, “We understand this is an unprecedented time for any business in our community and recovering from the effects will take time. 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 recover from this storm and come back stronger than ever.”

Floyd County Commission President Shawn Carruthers said, “Once the health crisis has passed, it may take several months for consumer confidence to return, meaning nonessential spending may be sluggish for the foreseeable future. This funding will focus on the recovery of small retail shops and restaurants, which are typically the last to bounce back after an economic crisis such as this. Floyd County government is proud to step forward once again to assist small businesses and will continue to work with partners like the BlueSky Foundation and others to mitigate the effects of this downturn.”

The CFSI will 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.

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 the BlueSky Foundation, the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County and 1si in the Community and Cultural Relief Loan Fund Program. This effort to assist in the recovery of affected businesses compliments the Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund which is geared to assist nonprofit organizations. 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, now and in the future.”

According to loan organizers, the purpose of the loan is to keep small businesses viable through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. Loan amounts up to $25,000 will be considered. However, 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 sixty (60) months, with the first payment due on October 1, 2020. Unlike the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Forgivable Loan Fund, this loan is not forgivable. Payments toward loan balances will be made to the CFFC and be utilized to assist future emergency needs for small businesses.

“The Caesars Foundation of Floyd County loan committee is again proud to be part of this effort and remains committed to the recovery of small businesses in Floyd as well as Clark County. We will continue to work with regional partners to assist in any way we can,” said Jerry Finn, executive director of the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County.

Funds will be awarded based on demonstrated need and may only be used to assist with payroll expenses, rent and utilities. As with the previous loan fund, the CFFC Revolving Loan Committee will review applications and required documentation including a detailed explanation of need and proposed use of funds from the business owner(s) to determine funding eligibility. Applicants will also need to submit profit and loss statements and balance sheets for the fiscal year of 2018 and 2019 as well as an executive summary of the business’ recovery plan.

1si President and CEO Wendy Dant Chesser said, “In a time when the news is rarely good, it is such a privilege to serve a community that comes together to support each other in such a meaningful way. This fund will not only directly help our businesses but also families, friends and neighbors. It is a sign of hope, a light at the end of the tunnel, that says we will endure this hardship and emerge stronger and more united than ever. One Southern Indiana is proud to be the resource and assistance hub for all the businesses in Clark and Floyd counties as well as the region, now and in the brighter days to come.”

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

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

Media Contacts:

One Southern Indiana — Wendy Dant Chesser, (812) 945-0266,