INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 19, 2019) – Today, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and the Indiana U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development announced that nine Main Street organizations will be a part of a new program focused on retaining existing businesses and expanding new business and entrepreneurial opportunities.
“Collaboration between local, state and federal partners allows for these communities to create a stronger environment in their core commercial centers,” Crouch said. “Rural Indiana is the next great economic frontier, and we will continue to do what we can to support them and help them thrive.”
The Office of Community and Rural Affairs was awarded a $100,000 grant from the USDA Rural Development to create the IMPACT Main Street program.
“OCRA is a great partner and when it comes to their connections to the needs of rural communities around local community economic development, they are the go-to agency in Indiana for help with funding and technical assistance,” said Michael Dora, Indiana USDA State Director. “Therefore, it was only natural that USDA and OCRA expand on their partnership. We are a proud to leverage our assets and extend to OCRA a grant to be used to promote rural prosperity.”
The nine Main Street organizations selected for this pilot are in the following communities: Seymour, Fairmount, Tell City, Tipton, Rockville, Sullivan, Dillsboro, Elwood and LaPorte, and they will be working with Ball State University’s Indiana Communities Institute to design and implement business investment strategies for their downtowns.
“This type of innovative programming directly impacts local business development and spurs further private investment," said Jodi Golden, OCRA Executive Director. “IMPACT Main Street will help us continue our mission to catalyze economic growth in our rural communities.”
Once the pilot is complete, OCRA intends to extend the program to other Main Street organizations.
(Pictured Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and Becky Schepman from Seymour Main Street)