New group pledges $500,000 to struggling minority businesses in Marion, Hamilton counties

A newly formed corporation will deploy $500,000 in capital to support Marion and Hamilton County businesses owned by people of color and members of marginalized communities during the COVID-19 outbreak.

IMPACT Central Indiana, a multi-member limited liability company created by the Central Indiana Community Foundation and its affiliates (The Indianapolis Foundation and Hamilton County Community Foundation), will make available loans, equity investments and grants that “generate positive, measurable social impact and financial returns” to both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

The “social impact investments” can earn interest and may return the initial investment and later be reinvested into future endeavors, Impact says on its website.

The entity is led by an eleven-member board, with Thomas Kilian, president of the Hamilton County Community Foundation, serving as its president.

For its first investment, Impact is partnering with Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative in its effort to deliver rapid response loans of $1,000 to $25,000 to businesses in need.

A half million dollars–$250,000 from Impact and $250,000 from Fishers-based First Internet Bank—will be targeted to businesses owned by people of color and members of marginalized communities in either Marion or Hamilton counties.

The loans can be used to pay employees, make insurance premiums, or as a bridge loan while businesses wait for funding secured through the CARES Act or the Small Business Administration.

“IMPACT Central Indiana is committed to supporting businesses and enterprises that directly improve the lives in our under-appreciated neighborhoods and communities,” Kilian said in written comments. “Providing support for individuals to create opportunities within their communities while also giving fundholders new tools to practice philanthropy is an incredibly exciting step for all in central Indiana.”

Indy Chamber launched the Rapid Response Loan Fund March 30 with a goal of raising $10 million. To date, the chamber has raised more than $6 million and has received more than 800 loan inquiries from small businesses across the Indianapolis region.

“We’re honored to partner with IMPACT Central Indiana and First Internet Bank to help address this critical need and to preserve the diversity and vitality of our local economy,” Michael Huber, Indy Chamber president and CEO said in written comments.

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