INDIANAPOLIS – Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, Indiana will receive $2.4 billion total for virus-related expenditures between March and December of 2020.
The state previously announced that $300 million would be sent to municipalities for their COVID-19 expenses related to public health.
“Later or in the near future, the governor is going to be announcing a small business program that will help bridge the expenses,” Cris Johnston, director of the Office of Management & Budget, said Wednesday. “This program we’re going to look at is going to be complementary to (the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program).”
As of Tuesday, the Small Business Administration had distributed nearly $9.4 billion to 73,430 Hoosier businesses in forgivable loans. Businesses with less than 500 employees can apply for funds and have the loan forgiven if they spend the relief on employee salaries or fixed expenses such as mortgage or rent payments.
Johnston said another possible use for the relief funds would be staffing assistance for the Department of Corrections or recovering costs related to deploying the Indiana National Guard.
The state had received other funding for education programs and support for transit authorities for a total of about $5 billion. About $3.5 billion of that spending would be determined by state government, Johnston said.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said the state also had applied for $61 million for remote learning support related to K-12 schools.
“That’s the whole package (and) includes the social and emotional piece,” said Katie Jenner, an education advisor to Holcomb. “There’ll be more information to come soon.”
Some states have elected to spend their virus relief funding expanding broadband access or rental assistance.
Holcomb added that the state would award $70 million in the next round of rural broadband allocations set for July.
“Indiana is far away ahead of most every other states in terms of state dollars that we’re devoting to internet connections,” Holcomb said.