South Bend to offer its small businesses virtual aid fair

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Northern Indiana small businesses hit hard by the pandemic will soon get help from a couple non-profit firms, and those in South Bend can apply to receive aid Friday morning as well.

The City of South Bend has pledged $600,000 for CDFI groups loaning capitals to small businesses that otherwise aren’t covered enough by federal grants, the Mayor’s office said in a press release.

CDFI Friendly - South Bend’ Executive Director Sonia Karnovsky worked with the city to organize a virtual emergency assistance fair for Friday morning at 10:30.

“We hope that bringing the various financial institutions together in one place and making them available so that business owners can speak with them and ask specific questions to their situation will help them navigate what are actually quite a large number of resources that are available to them,” Karnovsky said.

Brightpoint is another group expected to take part in the fair, and has already announced COVID-19 express loans of up to $20,000 for businesses to apply for in northeast Indiana counties.

South Bend’s mayor admits Friday's virtual event may not be the last event of its kind, though.

“I mean, we need to be realistic here that the economic recovery is likely to be long, and there will be more additional actions necessary to get back on track,” Mayor James Mueller said.

The City of South Bend will record the online event, so any small business owners unable to join the online forum tomorrow will be able to access it afterward.

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