Stately Investments: Indiana’s Making Moves to Improve

Stately Investments: Indiana’s Making Moves to Improve

Famed investor Warren Buffet once said, “The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself.” The state of Indiana has been taking that message to heart, making major moves to improve business, connectivity, and quality of life in many areas of the state through multimillion dollar investments.

State officials approved multiple pieces of legislation that will support small businesses and Hoosier manufacturers, increase funding for direct flights, modernize Indiana’s tax code and enhance regional development.

“We are building on Indiana’s momentum and positive economic indicators by investing in our people and places,” said Gov. Holcomb. “These historic, strategic investments in our local communities will provide an incredible opportunity to create a collaborative future. I want to thank Indiana lawmakers for joining me in making these priorities a reality.”

Officials provided a rundown of some of the investments and initiatives that are now taking place.

 

$500 Million for Regional Development

The Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) will dedicate $500 million to encourage long-term investments across the state to make Indiana cities and towns better magnets for talent. Through the initiative, the state will be partnering with local communities to carry out regional development initiatives to attract talent and accelerate economic growth.

The return on this $500 million is expected to be huge. State officials believe that “at least $2 billion of local public, private and philanthropic match funding that will propel investment” in all kinds of unique quality of place programs throughout the state. There were 17 regions in Indiana that submitted regional development plans for consideration, some of which were transformational. Throughout 2022, many exciting projects are going to be taking shape as a result of this initiative.

 

$10 Million in New Manufacturing Grants

$10 million in new matching grants will be available to encourage Indiana manufacturers to make long-term investments in new equipment, machinery, and smart technologies through the Manufacturing Readiness Grant program.

It’s all about “Industry 4.0,” or the shifts in manufacturing toward greater automation and advanced processes. The grants are designed to stimulate private sector investments to modernize Indiana’s manufacturing sector.

Conexus Indiana and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) are the entities that administer the Manufacturing Readiness Grant. The program will run through mid-2023 and has been expanded into a $20 million budget thus far.

In one round of disbursements that occurred towards the end of last year, $3.6 million was given to 44 Hoosier manufacturing businesses. The IEDC reported this $3.6 million investment will support an estimated $23 million in further technology-oriented capital investment throughout the state.

 

$60 Million to Support Small Firms

The state of Indiana invested considerably in small Hoosier businesses last year through the Indiana Small Business Restart Grant program. The grants provided eligible Hoosier entrepreneurs and small businesses with working capital through reimbursements for certain expenses incurred because of the pandemic.

About $60 million in federal funding was distributed. The state issued $34.5 million in grants through the first iteration of the program and later added federal dollars made available through the CARES Act. As of late last year, the program had concluded and is no longer accepting applications.

 

$20 Million Max Increase to VC Program

Changes were made to the Venture Capital Investment (VCI) tax credit program, which aims to spur venture capital activity. The program encourages investments in minority- and women-owned Indiana businesses, expands eligibility to Indiana investment funds, and now has an increased annual program maximum of $20 million (up from $12.5 million).

With this program expansion, individuals and corporations investing in qualified early-stage firms and investment funds can now qualify for a 25% tax credit (up from 20%) on investments up to $1 million per company or a 30% tax credit (up from 20%) on investments up to $1.5 million for minority- and women-owned businesses. Additionally, individuals and corporations will now have the opportunity to invest in qualified Indiana-based investment funds on investments up to $5 million.

 

Best Investments

Indiana is not just investing in one part of itself, but many. Each of these programs will likely produce substantial results in the coming years. On both the community and industry level, the state’s forward-looking financial commitments are sure to bring great returns for Hoosiers over the short and long term. If the best investments are the ones we make in ourselves, then Indiana is definitely making the best investments possible.

 

 


Sources: More information on House Bill 1001 (state budget), House Enrolled Act 1004 (Small Business Restart Grants), and House Bill 1418 (IEDC agency) is available online.