Q:  I finished the application.  What happens next?

A:  Once the deadline passes on September 15th at 4pm, the applications will go through an initial review process checking to make sure the business applied in an eligible community, and meet the criteria for a small business or microenterprise.  If the business meets those criteria, they will be sent information on submitting supplemental information during the week of September 21st. If not eligible, they will be advised that same week.

Q: My business is in Evansville.  Why can’t I apply for a Vanderburgh County grant?

A. The City of Evansville City is an entitlement community (a city with population of 50,000+) and receives direct funding for this type of assistance.  Because of this designation, businesses inside city limits are not eligible.  Click HERE for a list of COVID-19 relief programs for Evansville.

Q. How do I know if I am a small business or microenterprise, and what if I’m self-employed and have no employees?

A. Per the state, a small business is a for-profit enterprise with 100 or fewer employees, and a microbusiness is a for-profit enterprise with 5 or fewer employees, with the owner being one of them.  Those who are self-employed are considered sole proprietors and are eligible as they meet the criteria as a microbusiness.

Q: I have a business but I don’t take an income or receive a W-2/1099 IRS form. Can I still apply?

A: Yes! You will still want to apply. As long as your business is for-profit you will be considered a sole proprietor and eligible for funding.

Q. At the end of the application it mentioned additional/supplemental information that will need to be provided once the initial review process is complete.  What does this entail, when will businesses turn it in, and where will I find the forms?

A.  You will be required to submit just three forms: A Business LMI Form where you’ll list your employees and their income, an Impact letter that will specifically explain the impact COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions had on your business, and a Retention Letter stating how many employees the grant will help you retain.  You will be notified the week of September 21st if you meet the basic eligibility requirements and sent a link to the printable forms on the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana’s website.  Tentatively, you will have until September 25th to submit them.

Q: I applied for and received one of the OCRA COVID-19 grants earlier in the year.  Can I apply again?

A. No. Unfortunately you cannot receive another OCRA COVID-19 Response Program grant if you already received one.

Q: My business is in an awarded community but I live in an other community.  What address should I use on the application?

A. Your business is eligible, and you will use the actual physical address of the business. However, you’ll want to let the community know your personal address prior to disbursement so funds can be sent to the correct location.

Q: I have business locations in more than one eligible community. Can I apply for and receive grants in both communities?

A: If the locations are separate legal entities, then you can receive the grant for both. However, this is also dependent on the community’s criteria.

Q: What if I don’t know if my business is within the corporate limits of a community that was awarded?

A. Go ahead and apply to the community you believe your business is in.  Your address will be checked during the initial evaluation to ensure your business is reviewed by the correct eligible community.   

Q.  What does low to moderate income mean, and how does it affect my business’ eligibility? 

A.  In short, the applicants for each community must collectively meet the HUD definition of 51% or more of employees in the low to moderate income (LMI) category.  The community, not each individual business, must meet that criteria.  The 51% income threshold is different for each county.  Applicants will be required to submit one Business LMI Form listing all employees, their hours per week, and average annual income.  You will not have to calculate this. This will be done by the grant administrator and the community using the submitted Business LMI Forms. Detailed instructions on completing the form will be provided when notified after initial review.

Q: How will receiving the grant affect my income for tax purposes?  Is it considered taxable income?

A: You will be sent a W-9 form to be completed and returned to your community, and asked to consult with your account to determine how the grants funds may impact your taxes.

Q: Who exactly is reviewing my application?

A: Each community is setting up a review committee consisting of a combination of elected officials, business owners, and citizens.  While not made public, the committee make-up is encouraged to be diverse and representative of the community.

Q. Are churches or libraries eligible to receive the grant?

A: No. Churches and libraries are not for-profit businesses.

Q: I still need help! How do I get assistance with other questions I may have?

A: Please reach out to the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana! We are here to help you with the application process and with understanding your eligibility. Please email a member of our Community Development Team listed below:

Debbie Bennett-Stearsman – [email protected]

Steve Marchand – [email protected]

Andy Zellers – [email protected]