The Indiana General Assembly is set to meet in a special session on Monday, Nov. 29 to consider a bill that would restrict businesses' ability to require the COVID-19 vaccine for employees. It would also require businesses to administer weekly testing for all unvaccinated employees. Click here to view the draft legislation.
The legislation is in response to a federal mandate that would require businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines for all employees. To give feedback to state legislators representing parts of Monroe County, find their contact information in the Chamber's Elected Officials Directory.
Businesses with more than 100 employees will soon be mandated to have all employees vaccinated or be tested weekly for COVID-19. Businesses that don’t comply could face fines of up to $14,000 per violation.
The mandate is part of President Joe Biden's six-part "Path Out of the Pandemic" that was announced on Sept. 9. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to issue an emergency temporary standard soon with details of the plan.
On Sept. 16, attorneys general from 24 states, including Indiana, sent a letter to President Biden opposing the private sector mandate. Read their letter here.
The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded $3.5 million to the City of Bloomington to support construction of the Trades District Technology Center. The center is intended to facilitate the growth and commercialization of second stage, tech-based businesses.
The city applied for the grant in partnership with the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, and the EDA funds will be matched by $1.6 million of local investment from the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission. Read the city's press release here.
The Trades District is a 12-acre area that's part of the Bloomington Certified Technology Park. Learn more here.
At their July 21 meeting, Bloomington Council heard a request from the administration to spend a portion of the total $22.1 million that the city will be receiving from the federal American Rescue Act Plan (ARPA). The request for a $3.35 million appropriation breaks down as follows:
Watch the presentation at the July 21 council meeting on CATS here. Read the staff memo here. The council will discuss the appropriation at their July 28 Committee of the Whole meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. via this Zoom link.
The Crane Regional Defense Group is starting a new Key Leader Series on Aug. 12, featuring Dr. Angie Lewis, Technical Director at NSWC Crane.
The free event runs from 11:30-12:30 p.m. at the WestGate Academy, 13598 E. WestGate Drive in Odon, Indiana. Lunch will be provided.
Click here for more info and to register!
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.
Extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, have been made until 2022. The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that all SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 24-months from the date of the note.
In addition, all SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2021, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 18-months from the date of the note.
Click here to learn more about the SBA deferments.
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.
Janet McCabe, director of Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute, has been nominated to be deputy administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
McCabe was nominated by the administration of President-Elect Joe Biden, and must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. She previously served in the Obama administration as the EPA's acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation.
McCabe is also a professor of practice at the IU McKinney School of Law at IUPUI. Read more about her background here.
On Dec. 9, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce hosted U.S. Representative Trey Hollingsworth for a Federal Focus event.
Hollingsworth, a Republican who represents Indiana’s District 9 in the U.S. House of Representatives, was re-elected to his third term in November. He discussed a wide range of issues in response to questions from Chamber members, including COVID-19 support for businesses, the presidential transition, balancing public health and economic recovery, and much more.
The event, attended by over 60 people, was covered by Indiana Public Media. Read their report here.