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10 Best Grants For Small Businesses In Indiana

Chidinma Ofoegbu
January 8, 2024
10 Best Grants For Small Businesses In Indiana

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Table of Contents

Key Points

  • Small businesses play a significant role in Indiana’s economy. 
  • Government grants are available to provide crucial financial support for small businesses.
  • Knowledge is crucial in achieving financial stability and prosperity as a business owner. 

Small businesses are the driving force behind Indiana’s economy, contributing significantly to its impressive $455.8 billion gross domestic product (GDP) as of 2022. 

Indiana ranks 19th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of GDP in the United States.

For small businesses to thrive, they need capital. However, many face challenges due to a lack of funding. 

The good news is that the government provides specific grants to alleviate these financial burdens.

This presents a valuable opportunity for entrepreneurs to access the support needed to propel their ventures forward.

This blog aims to provide detailed information about these grants, including the application process, eligibility criteria, and important contact numbers for those needing assistance with their application.

Top 10 Grants For Small Businesses In Indiana

Are you planning to start a business in Indiana, or are you already running one and in need of funding? 

Here, you can explore business grants and loans that are exclusively available to businesses operating within the state of Indiana.

1. Federal Home Loan Bank Of Indianapolis (FHLBI) Elevate Grants

The FHLBI Elevate grants are designed to support the growth of small businesses in Indiana and Michigan. 

These grants, provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis (FHLBank Indianapolis), can be used for capital expenditures, workforce training, or other business needs. 

Recipients can use up to $20,000 from Elevate grant funds, with a maximum of $5,000 allocated for working capital expenses. 

The goal is to help cover costs related to small business expansion and promote workforce development.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Collaborate with a financial institution affiliated with FHLBI.
  • Own a small business located in Indiana or Michigan.
  • Operate your business actively for a minimum of 12 months.
  • Maintain average annual gross revenues below $1 million.

How To Apply:

Work directly with a member institution of FHLBI to submit your application when the annual application period begins.

2. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants are a United States government initiative designed to provide funding to small businesses for research and development projects with the potential for commercialization.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The applicant must meet the definition of a small business concern (SBC) according to SBA regulations.
  • Specific size, ownership, and other requirements must be satisfied by the applicant.
  • The principal investigator must be “primarily employed” by the applicant small business during the SBIR award period.
  • The entire research or R&D project must be conducted within the United States.
  • Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply for SBIR/STTR awards.

How To Apply:

Read the SBIR/STTR eligibility criteria carefully and contact your SBA district office representative to confirm that you meet the basic requirements.

3. City Of South Bend Business Grants

South Bend city provides grants to eligible businesses, offering partial reimbursement for capital improvements. 

Businesses meeting the criteria can receive up to $20,000 for enhancing the visual appeal of downtown South Bend and up to $112,000 for executing advanced sustainability projects in specific corridors.

Eligibility Criteria:

Any South Bend business may qualify for a Vibrant Places matching grant, while businesses located downtown may be eligible for an annual Exterior Enhancement Grant.

How To Apply:

For more details on these grants and guidance on applying, please visit the City of South Bend website.

4. Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Grants

This grant provides funding and support to small businesses in Indiana, including market research, confidential business counseling, and workshops. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be or become an Indiana SBDC client by March 1.
  • Have a physical presence in Indiana.
  • Propose an eligible project type.
  • Be a for-profit business.
  • Use an Indiana-based vendor.
  • Have not received INTAP twice before.

How To Apply:

To apply for INTAP, you need to submit a vendor proposal along with your application.

This proposal should detail the services to be provided and include a budget.

5. Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association (MCUEA) Business Grant Program

The MCUEA provides grants to qualifying business owners who undertake exterior and interior enhancements to their physical commercial establishments in Michigan City, Indiana. 

Businesses eligible within the Michigan City Urban Enterprise Zone can be reimbursed up to $7,500 for capital improvements.

Eligibility Criteria:

Typically, you must run a business within the Michigan City Urban Enterprise Zone for at least one year to be eligible for this grant.

How To Apply:

To apply for this grant, you can contact the Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association for more information on the application process.

6. City Of Madison’s Preservation And Community Enhancement (PACE) Grant Program

The PACE Grant Program offers matching grants to qualifying property owners who renovate and enhance the structural condition of deteriorated buildings located in Madison, Indiana.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Possess residential or commercial property in Madison, Indiana.
  • Be up-to-date on all property taxes.
  • Have no existing tax liens against the property.
  • Have no ongoing legal disputes with the city of Madison.
  • Express readiness to execute all necessary legal agreements.
  • Properties that have previously received PACE grant funds cannot qualify for additional funding until two years after the final disbursement of funds from the previous grant.

How To Apply:

If you wish to apply, get in touch with either the PACE Review Committee or Madison’s Planning Department.

7. Downtown Danville Partnership Façade Improvement Grant Program

Businesses located in downtown Danville, Indiana, have the opportunity to get partial reimbursements for enhancing their storefronts and building exteriors. 

Qualify for grants of up to $5,000 each to support improvements to the exterior façade of your commercial property in downtown Danville.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Have a business situated in downtown Danville, Indiana.
  • Ensure that your business is within the area defined by Clinton, Kentucky, Broadway, and Wayne streets.
  • Obtain prior design approval from the Design Review Committee of the Town of Danville.

How To Apply:

Go to the Downtown Danville Partnership website to submit your application online.

8. Amber Grants

Amber Grants for Women aim to support female entrepreneurs in Indiana. 

Established in 1998, this grant provides a monthly award of $10,000, with the chance to win a $25,000 year-end grant. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The business must be at least 50% owned by women.
  • The business should be located in the U.S. or Canada.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • The applicant should be at least 18 years old.

How To Apply:

To obtain additional details and submit your application, please visit the official Women’s Network website, the organization responsible for managing the Amber Grants for Women.

9. FedEx Small Business Grant

The FedEx Small Business Grant is accessible to small businesses operating for profit, possessing a valid FedEx business shipping account number, currently utilizing FedEx for shipping, and having fewer than 99 employees.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be a small for-profit business based in the U.S. with a staff of no more than 99 employees.
  • Have a minimum operational history of six months.
  • Require shipping services.
  • Possess a valid nine-digit FedEx shipping account number.
  • Maintain good standing as a business, which includes not being under bankruptcy protection and having no active judicial liens or attachments.

How To Apply:

Visit the FedEx website for more information.

10. Leighton Elevate Angel Development (LEAD) Fund

The Leighton Elevate Angel Development (LEAD) Fund, a $1 million co-investment fund, is created by the Judd Leighton Foundation and managed by Elevate Ventures. 

Its primary goal is to provide capital to promising startups in Indiana, particularly focusing on businesses in Elkhart, St. Joseph, and Marshall counties.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Businesses need to be situated in Elkhart, Marshall, or St. Joseph counties.
  • Startups should be seeking funding of less than $1 million.
  • A minimum co-investment of 50% is required.

How To Apply:

For details on applying to the LEAD Fund, you can either visit the Elevate Ventures website or directly contact them to learn more about the application process.

Need Funding As A Business? Apply Today

We want you to know that you’re not alone in dealing with financial struggles as a business owner in Indiana. 

Check out the grants above for some extra support, and go ahead and apply today.

Remember to subscribe to our newsletter for more helpful tips on gaining financial freedom.

 Do you have other challenges on your plate or need some help? Drop a comment, and we’ll respond as soon as possible.


The government provides specific grants to alleviate financial burdens, offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to access support for business growth.

Research government websites, grant databases, and industry-specific organizations. Additionally, networking and staying informed about available opportunities can help identify potential grants.

Yes, businesses can apply for multiple grants at the same time. However, it’s crucial to ensure that each application meets the specific requirements of the respective grants.

Chidinma Ofoegbu
Chidinma Ofoegbu is a personal finance writer passionate about helping people make, manage and grow their money. She can be seen reading a good book or binging a comedy series when she’s not writing.

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