IEDC to award regions grants focused on growth under READI program

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is accepting applications for grants meant to help spur new growth.

The $500 million available was allocated by the state from funding it received through the federal government’s American Rescue Plan, according to the IEDC. The grants will be awarded to local and regional communities across Indiana.

Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen says his city is growing rapidly.

“In the advanced manufacturing sector, life sciences – we’re seeing a lot of growth in life sciences,” Mayor Jensen said.

And he sees opportunity to expand on that progress.

“In 2020, we announced $145 million of public-private investment in our downtown alone,” Jensen said.

Noblesville teamed up with several other Central Indiana communities to form the White River Regional Opportunity Initiative. The group is applying for a grant of up to $50 million from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation under a new program called the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, also known as READI.

The funding could help bring new development along the White River, according to Sarah Reed, Noblesville’s community and economic development director.

“Along the White River itself, we have a lot of opportunity that we’ve been exploring over time,” Reed said.

“One of the things that we struggle with a lot is the floodplain … What we’d like to do as well is to kind take a look at maybe how we can provide some different alternatives” for construction, she added.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has received many other notices from communities that intend to apply for the grants, according to Mark Wasky, vice president for innovation and strategic initiatives with the IEDC.

The funding can be used for several different purposes, including development and programs to attract and retain residents and businesses, Wasky said.

“Quality of place construction projects, whether that would be workforce housing, other cultural amenities, but also in other programmatic initiatives focused on promoting entrepreneurship and talent attraction and development,” Wasky said.

Grant recipients will be chosen based on the potential of growth under their regional plans as well as how they match up with the state’s economic goals, he added.

“Improving the quality of place and the quality of life in Indiana’s communities,” Wasky said. “Really focusing as well as on helping them redevelop existing properties.”

Participating regions had to submit notices that they intend to apply for the grants by July 1, Wasky said. The applications are due at the end of August.

The IEDC will begin the process of choosing which regions will receive the grants this fall, he added.

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