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Brock Herr
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Brock Herr
Vice President & Counsel, Business Development

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COVID-19 Updates & Resources

Economic-Related COVID-19 Announcements
Updated August 31, 2020

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is working with the State of Indiana and the Indiana State Department of Health to closely monitor the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to continue supporting and providing resources for businesses in partnership with local and regional organizations across the state.


Gov. Holcomb announced the first confirmed Indiana coronavirus case and declared a public health emergency on March 6. On March 19, Gov. Holcomb extended the state of emergency an additional 30 days following its expiration on April 5. On April 3, Gov. Holcomb extended the state of emergency through May 5. On June 3, Gov. Holcomb extended the state of emergency through July 4. 

On May 1, Gov. Holcomb announced Indiana’s roadmap to safely reopen the state. The governor has used data to drive decisions since the first case of the novel coronavirus in early March. That will continue to be the state’s practice as we contemplate a sector-by-sector reset. Visit to learn more about the guiding principles and approach the state is using during the five stages of reopening and getting Indiana back on track.


On March 18, the U.S. Small Business Administration issued a disaster declaration for the state of Indiana, making financial assistance available to Hoosier small businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus.


On March 18, President Trump signed a relief package into law that provides paid leave benefits and additional unemployment benefits for U.S. workers. Read more


As stated in E0 20-18, Gov. Holcomb has directed the creation of a multi-agency enforcement response team, led by the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to respond to and investigate other violations of the new order. Much like the enforcement of the restaurant, bar and nightclub executive order, this team will be charged with helping business owners comply with the order before issuing a directive to close a business.


On March 23, Gov. Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-05, which states the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs may redirect funds to assist with COVID-19 needs based on guidance from the United States Housing and Urban Development. This program could help fund projects such as mobile testing areas or economic assistance packages for small businesses.


On March 25, Gov. Holcomb announced the IEDC has spoken to more than 1,000 businesses and economic development agencies in the last five days about ways to continue supporting the state’s economy as well as its front-line COVID-19 pandemic response workers.


On March 26, Gov. Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-12, which states the Department of Workforce Development has suspended the one-week waiting period required before paying unemployment benefits to allow claimants to receive checks more quickly. Additionally, the Department of Local Government Finance has extended deadlines related to local government finances.


Executive Order 20-15 eases government operations including permitting electronic notary services to remotely review and approve documents.


On April 10, Gov. Holcomb announced a taskforce to plan, administer and account for federal relief funds the state of Indiana receives from the CARES Act. Indiana’s Economic Relief and Recovery Team will be chaired by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Cris Johnston and Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. A committee of business leaders with extensive public service background will advise the chairs:

  • Al Hubbard, former economic policy advisor and director of the National Economic Council for President George W. Bush, Luke Kenley, former Indiana state senator
  • Luke Kenley, former Indiana state senator
  • Ryan Kitchell, former OMB director
  • Kristin Marcuccilli, Indiana Economic Development Corporation board member, and
  • Becky Skillman, former lieutenant governor
  • John Thompson, Chairman and CEO, Thompson Distribution Company 


On April 16, Gov. Holcomb, along with six other governors in the region, announced that they will work in close coordination to reopen the economy in the Midwest, taking a fact-based, data-driven approach that will protect Hoosier families from the continued spread of COVID-19. Read more


On April 22, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced that 13 rural Hoosier communities will receive more than $1.96 million in federal grant funding through the new COVID-19 Response Program.Eligible activities for this program include:

  • Expanding or altering existing medical facilities to help in the increase patient load due to COVID-19;
  • Providing fixed or mobile testing;
  • Expanding food pantry services to low-to-moderate (LMI) populations; and
  • Providing grants or loans to small businesses to help retain LMI jobs.


On April 23, Dr. Kristina Box announced the Indiana State Department of Health is collaborating with the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI to conduct a scientific study to measure the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state. The closely monitored study will include random sample testing for SARS-CoV-2 -- the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 -- viral infections and antibodies in Hoosiers. The scientific study will enable the state to take a critical step forward in understanding how COVID-19 is affecting Hoosiers. Read more

  • ISDH and IU will perform scientifically valid random sampling of Hoosiers in tests conducted in four phases over the next year, beginning Saturday, April 25.
  • In total, at least 20,000 Hoosiers will be tested for the study. Select members of the public are being asked to participate, by invitation only, to ensure that the sampling is representative of the population.


On April 28, Governor Holcomb announced OptumServe Health Services, powered by Logistics Health, Inc., will open sites across Indiana in the next seven days to begin large-scale testing of Hoosiers. Testing is for any symptomatic Hoosier, close contacts of positive cases, or residents of congregate living settings. Read more here. On June 12, Dr. Box announced the state is opening OptumServe-operated sites to all Hoosiers who want to get tested for the coronavirus. The test is free and testing sites can be found here.


On April 29, Gov. Holcomb announced Maximus will centralize contact tracing and investigations for Hoosiers who test positive for COVID-19. This move, together with the state’s partnership with OptumServe, is an essential component of efforts to safely reopen Indiana. Plans call for hiring at least 500 employees, who will be trained in contact tracing and investigations by ISDH subject matter experts. Read more


On May 29, the IEDC board of directors approved $10 million to launch the Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement (EASE) program aimed at supporting technology and operational advancements in the manufacturing industry, which has long been a key driver of the state’s economy. EASE, which encompasses three complimentary initiatives, is designed to stimulate manufacturing investments that will position Hoosier operations, and the sector overall, for future growth and prosperity by prioritizing startup investment and resources, technology modernization and development, and training assistance. The three EASE initiatives include:

  • The new Smart & Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) Focus Fund, which will make seed and early-stage investments and provide entrepreneurship resources to Indiana manufacturing-focused startups through Elevate Ventures, the state’s venture development partner;
  • Manufacturing Readiness Grants, administered in partnership with Conexus Indiana, will provide matching grants of up to $200,000 to companies committing to modernizing their operations or integrating smart technologies and processes in order to improve capacity, or to companies investing in health care manufacturing technology, providing financial assistance to manufacturers supporting critical COVID-19 response efforts; and
  • A planned Smart Manufacturing Studio Lab, which will provide lab space and access to state-of-the-art smart manufacturing equipment, enabling businesses to train employees, validate technologies for their business models, and conduct third-party pilot manufacturing.

More information on EASE, which is funded through the state’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, is available here.

On June 17, Gov. Holcomb provided updates on the state’s efforts to support Indiana small businesses and entrepreneurs, announcing a new partnership with Indiana Black Expo (IBE) to increase access to economic and workforce recovery programs for minority employers and encouraging small business owners to apply for funding available through state and federal programs. Read more

  • Gov. Holcomb approved $500,000 in federal funding made available through the CARES Act to support minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs and communities negatively affected by COVID-19. The funding will enable IBE to launch a targeted, statewide promotional campaign and develop community outreach programs to raise awareness of available resources and funding, enhancing participation in critical economic and workforce recovery programs.
  • Through this new partnership, IBE will also provide direct technical support to employers by connecting minority-owned businesses and minority Hoosiers with critical COVID-19 resources; developing educational initiatives, including a webinar series for minority business owners; and increasing collaborative partnerships with existing state resources, such as the Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) and Next Level Jobs, to offer training and counseling services.
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