INDIANAPOLIS — The city of Indianapolis announced Tuesday that it will collaborate with LISC Indianapolis with a new program, as well as expand one of LISC Indianapolis’ initiatives, through American Rescue Plan Act funds.
According to a news release, the city will collaborate with LISC Indianapolis on a small business technical assistance hub and capacity building program. The city is also expected to help grow LISC’s equitable food access initiative and food justice collaborative.
Officials said the funding for both initiatives are being made possible through $3.2 million in grants from ARPA funds from the city of Indianapolis.
“Through LISC, these grants will address two critical issues affecting prosperity in Indianapolis: food access and the health of our small business landscape,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in the release. “Together, we can improve upward mobility for families and industries hardest hit by the challenges our community has faced over the last several years.”
The release said $1.7 million of the grant will be used to create the small business technical assistance hub and capacity building program. The technical assistance hub will be for small businesses and nonprofit organizations, giving them bookkeeping assistance, as well as legal and marketing assistance.
The capacity building programs will be for nine “disproportionately COVID-impacted business development organizations,” helping them with financial management, digital transformation and strategic planning.
“As the Indianapolis community works toward COVID recovery, the small business ecosystem will benefit from this online resource navigation platform and investment in recovery support services,” David Hampton, the executive director of LISC Indianapolis, said in the release. “It is critical that the entire community come together to create a better ecosystem that will support small businesses, especially minority-owned businesses.”
The other $1.5 million will go toward the growth of LISC’s equitable food access initiative and food justice collaborative. The initiative is aimed at addressing “immediate food access needs and upstream contributors to food insecurity” throughout the city.
With the funding, LISC is expected to work with food expert consultants for ecosystem mapping, as well as placing seven community food builders within the city’s food deserts. Subgrants will also be distributed to six organizations to support operations and logistics related to food security of underserved populations in Marion County. Those organizations include:
- Nine13 Logistics
- Edna Martin Christian Center
- Christamore House
- Flanner House
- CAFE (Community Alliance of the Far Eastside)
- Growing Places Indy.