The city of Gary has given out nearly 100 grants to local small businesses from the city’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
In a Wednesday press release, Gary Mayor Jerome Prince announced that 91 Gary-based small businesses have been selected to receive small business grants of between $5,000 and $60,000. The recipients were selected by a seven-member review committee consisting of city officials, business leaders, and higher education representatives.
“The City of Gary is supportive of all businesses, which made the selection process very difficult,” Prince said. “The Committee, with its selections, sought to both encourage building improvements and renovations as well as to stimulate our city’s economy on a smallscale level. It is my hope that there might be another round of funding in the future.”
Gary received just over $80 million from ARPA, which was passed by Congress in 2021 to help repair economic damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city has drawn from that pool to fund a mobile mental health unit, a new YMCA and wellness facility, and a down payment assistance program for prospective homebuyers. In March, the Gary Common Council voted to allocate $2 million in ARPA funds for small business grants, plus another $800,000 for local nonprofits.
Gary residents seeking to launch new businesses are also encouraged to submit applications for ARPA grants, the press release said. According to the city, 140 start-up businesses are potentially eligible for funding. Prospective grantees will need to submit an application and complete a business course offered by Indiana University Northwest.
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