The U.S. Economic Development Administration announced Friday that the City of South Bend will receive $7.7 million to administer a new Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to make loans to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This investment in the City of South Bend, which has already committed to helping residents respond to this unprecedented challenge, will assist the growth of the region’s economy, implement strategies to grow the region’s critical manufacturing sector and support workforce growth and development.
“This award from the EDA is a testament to the City’s success with the Industrial Revolving Loan Fund across many decades,” said Mayor James Mueller. “Given the difficult economic environment in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this funding boost will help fuel our economic recovery.”
The $7.7 million award for South Bend is part of $16 million overall awarded to cities in Indiana. South Bend’s award is the largest received by any City in Indiana and will be used to provide low-interest financing to help companies in South Bend start, maintain and expand their operations and facilities.
The City already operates its existing Industrial Revolving Fund (IRF) which offers financing to local businesses in manufacturing, service, and commercial sectors. Founded in 1975, this loan program serves to maximize local economic development benefits and to support business growth and retention in the City of South Bend. Since inception, the IRF has granted 160 loans to local companies that helped create and retain more than 3,300 jobs. Over $47 million dollars have been directed to new and seasoned companies that found themselves unable to pursue traditional funding opportunities.
“Small businesses are the heart of so many of our communities, and these funds are an investment in the future of our people and our cities,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “I am proud of the work done by our federal partners to ensure that entrepreneurs have the support they need so their businesses can keep serving Hoosiers for years to come.”
Within 60 days, the City will submit administrative plans for the fund to the EDA and then will receive disbursement of the funds. The new loan program will be administered by the Department of Community Investment.