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Grant will mean loans for small businesses in Lake County

The entrance to the Lake County Government Center in Crown Point. Small businesses in Lake County can apply for loans of $50,000 to $100,000 because of a grant from the Lake County Economic Development Commission.

Lake County small businesses will be able to apply for loans of $50,000 to $100,000 because of a grant fromtThe Lake County Economic Development Commission to the Community Investment Fund of Indiana.

The Lake County Economic Development Commission offered $750,000 to provide loans and technical assistance to small businesses in Lake County, including minority-owned and newer businesses that may not qualify for conventional financing, or that need more capital to grow.

“We aim to create as many new jobs as possible with this new partnership with CIFI," Lake County Community Economic Development Department Executive Director Timothy Brown said. "CIFI offers us the opportunity of stretching our funds to provide loans for smaller businesses in the range of $50,000 to $100,000. Previously approved projects by the commission include manufacturing and food processing companies that need buildings and specific equipment such as robotic welding machines, industrial saws and freezers. And most recently the seed funds for the new Hammond data center.”

The organization has loaned $2.6 million to small businesses across the state, creating or maintaining 100 jobs in low- and moderate-income parts of the state. 

“Every dollar of this grant will come back to Lake County, along with funding from CIFI. The Lake County and CIFI relationship is a proactive economic partnership, which will improve the viability and visibility of small — but vital — businesses that add to economic growth," Community Investment Fund of Indiana board member Sharron Liggins said. "This includes increasing job opportunities and specialized product delivery and exceptional customer service.”

The Community Investment Fund of Indiana is funded by grants, Indiana banks and other business organizations. It aims to grow fledgling small businesses enough to where they can qualify for traditional lines of credit.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.