The 11-county region known as the Uplands – which includes Monroe County – will be submitting a proposal for funding through the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI).
The Uplands proposal is being led by Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) and Radius. They are asking organizations and individuals to provide information on potential projects and programs that have the capacity to grow the region’s economic outcomes through investments in place-based talent, business, and quality of place opportunities.
Read more about this initiative here. Submit your project ideas here. The deadline to submit ideas is July 30.
Regional Opportunity Initiatives is collecting data about broadband speeds and mapping those speeds in the community to help get grants and other support to improve broadband capacity. As part of the project, they're asking residents and businesses to take an internet speed test.
The goal of this project is to create an accurate regional map of where internet service is available, where it is unavailable, and what broadband speed residents are currently receiving.
Read more about this project and take the test here.
On Tuesday, April 27, elected leaders for Monroe County and the City of Bloomington will meet separately to discuss spending priorities for funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Monroe County will be receiving about $29 million, while Bloomington will get $22.7 million.
The Monroe County Council and Monroe County Commissioners will meet at the end of a work session, which starts at 5:30 p.m. via this Zoom link. The Bloomington Council's meeting with Mayor John Hamilton on the same night begins at 6 p.m. via this Zoom link.
Details are still forthcoming on how these ARPA funds can be used, but the intent is to bolster local municipalities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local Food & Beverage Tax revenues dropped 19% in 2020, according to a recently released annual report.
The 1% tax has been collected countywide since 2018. In 2020, nearly $2.8 million was collected, a drop of about $650,000 compared to 2019.
Read the full report here.
The following press release was issued by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce to oppose the proposed Bloomington Council Ordinance 21-06 regarding homeless encampments:
Based on overwhelming feedback from members, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce opposes the proposed Bloomington Council Ordinance 21-06 that would allow encampments in public parks for extended periods.
“Over the past year we’ve heard increasing complaints and deep concerns voiced by members of the business community regarding encampments at Seminary Park and elsewhere,” said Erin Predmore, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “We must find an alternative way to support the needs of houseless residents that does not negatively impact local businesses, the jobs they provide, and the broader community.”
Erin Predmore, CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, has been named president of the Crane Regional Defense Group board.
The CRDG is a citizen-led committee established through partnerships between chambers of commerce, county councils, financial institutions and local business leaders, and championed by the Southern Indiana Business Alliance (SIBA). It is a subcommittee of the White River Military Coordination Alliance, was established in 2020 as a grassroots effort to expand community support and advocate for Crane at the local and federal level.
Click here to learn more about the Crane Regional Defense Group.
The Bloomington City Council is considering an ordinance that would allow homeless residents to camp in public parks, under certain conditions. You can read the ordinance here.
We need your feedback! Please share your views in this brief survey
The Council's Committee of the Whole will discuss it on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. There will be opportunity for public commentary. Depending on their action, it could be considered for a final vote on March 3. If you prefer to contact councilmembers directly, find their contact information here.
Click here to take the survey. Thank you for helping us shape our advocacy efforts on this issue.
In a Dec. 6 article in the Indiana Daily student, Erin Predmore, CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, stressed the importance of shopping locally for the holidays to support Bloomington/Monroe County businesses.
Premore also highlighted the Chamber's Holiday Gift Guide, which provides dozens of suggestions for shopping local.
Read the IDS article here.
Monroe County Commissioners have approved a new program to reimburse businesses and nonprofits for COVID-related expenses and increased the eligible reimbursements to $30,000. The previous cap was $20,000.
The previous reimbursement program, which covered non-payroll COVID-related expenses, was slated to end on Nov. 30 and was part of the federal CARES Act. At their Dec. 2 meeting, commissioners voted to create a similar program funded from $4.7 million that the county received from the CARES Act.
Click here for the reimbursement application form.
Chamber CEO Erin Predmore addressed the impact of COVID-19 on the local business community during a Nov. 27 Noon Edition on WFIU. The segment also featured Jeff Meese of One World Enterprises and Efrat Feferman of the Monroe County United Way.
Predmore talked about efforts to support local businesses, including the Chamber's online holiday gift guide, which spotlights more than 100 shops and other businesses.
Click here to listen.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy