PPP Overview for South Central Indiana
Learn the latest on the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program and where to find resources to help your South Central Indiana small business.
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
2021 United Way Free Community Tax Service adapts to COVID-19, offers free tax preparation to Brown, Greene, and Monroe County residents
United Way of Monroe County, along with other community partners, is pleased to provide the Free Community Tax Service during the upcoming tax season. Beginning February 1, IRS-certified volunteers will be working at six low-contact and two virtual sites throughout Monroe, Owen, and Brown counties where they will help Hoosiers who make less than $57,000 annually file their federal and state tax returns for free.
Tax preparation is provided free of charge and volunteers work one-on-one with community members to ensure they receive 100% of their refund, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if eligible. Residents will receive their tax returns quickly – usually within 21 days or less.
The City of Bloomington Black History Month Committee is seeking submissions from area students for the 2021 Black History Month Essay Contest. Students from the elementary grades through high school are encouraged to submit original essays on the theme “The Show Goes On” as it pertains to Black history. Essays must be submitted by midnight on Monday, February 8 via the Black History Month website at bloomington.in.gov/bhm, where additional information about essay questions, subjects and prompt questions, and a list of last year’s essay contest winners are posted.
First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in each of three categories: elementary (grades 4-6), middle (grades 7-8) and high school (grades 9-12). Homeschooled students are eligible to participate as well. Winners will be honored via video presentation on February 18 as a part of the City’s Black History Month celebration. First place essay winners will receive iPads, second place winners will each receive a $100 cash award, and third place winners will receive a $75 cash award.
The City of Bloomington and the Indiana University Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center are commemorating National Black History Month 2021 with the theme “The Show Goes On.'' The month’s events will speak to the role of the arts in the resilience of the Black community; highlighting the way Black stories of the journey to freedom, civil rights and equity have been represented in music from gospel to blues to rap, as well as other art forms from dance to literature to the visual arts.
“I encourage all of our students to use this opportunity to reflect on Black history and the place of Black culture in our collective experience,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “As we come together to celebrate the perseverance of Black people, we reiterate our commitment to greater equity and justice in Bloomington and beyond.”
Over the last six months, five startups have received investment from a new member-managed capital fund run by The Mill, a nonprofit center for entrepreneurship. The Flywheel Fund launched in the summer of 2020 and planned to make 4 investments of $25,000 each over the course of a year. By January, the fund had exceeded expectations, investing $120,000 in five companies in less than six months.
Flywheel is a member-managed fund that invests in early stage and high-potential companies. Rotating cohorts of members join, each contributing $10,000 to the fund upon joining. The group meets every other month to listen to one pitch, and each member then votes on whether to invest. When a majority votes “yes,” the company receives an investment of $25,000.
“Our first cohort was really excited about this opportunity to support startups in southern Indiana,” said Pat East, the Executive Director of The Mill. “So we started with a bigger pool to invest than we expected—$120,000—and we were able to invest quickly in some very promising startups.” Flywheel Fund is open to first-time investors and includes an educational component to support them in learning how the investment process works, what to look for in a pitch, and what to expect in terms of a return on the investment.
“Flywheel Fund is committed to providing equitable access to critical startup capital,” East noted. “We’ve promised that at least 13% of our investments will be in companies with Black founding teams, and I’m proud that in our first year we exceeded that promise and invested 20%. Diversity is a matter of ethics, and it’s also a matter of economics. It’s simply better for our fund to invest in all the great ideas that could fuel our community’s future economy. When we’re inclusive about our approach, the possibilities for everyone are really limitless.”
The five companies who received investment are:
The second cohort of Flywheel Fund starts April 1, 2021. Given the success of the first cohort, East expects the second cohort to be significantly larger in terms of members and the total investment pool. “Word is getting out about the high-quality startups we have in our region, and investors want to get in on that opportunity,” East said. “The Mill is thrilled to help grow resources for startups and a new pool of angels and investors.”
Latest Forbes reports state that working from home is here to stay well beyond COVID-19. One major drawback; sedentary behavior. If you employees are sitting more than ever help them with noon time workouts offered by Ethos Fitness. Ranging from 35-45min, classes are offered via Zoom, instructors are highly engaging and workouts focus on function and flexibility. Ethos Fitness is offering a 15% discount to local Bloomington businesses. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
21 Day Meditation Challenge
Gen Kelsang Chokyi, the Resident Teacher at KMC Bloomington, will guide you through 21-days of meditation through the month of January. The 30-minutes consists of a short talk, some guidance with meditation, the guided meditation and the meditation break practice. More info and registration: https://www.meditationinbloomington.org/challenge-page/f1a064d6-c7d8-49ec-a6a0-e5ddb0956ae5
Detox the Mind Retreat
SATURDAY, Jan 30 | 10AM - 1:15PM
with Guest Teacher Gen Kelsang Menla
Resident Teacher at KMC Texas
Tired of detox fads and see-saw dieting? Have you thought about a mental cleanse? Join us for this half day mini-retreat to let go of the noise of distracting thoughts and release tension and negative energy.
Info and registration:https://www.meditationinbloomington.org/jan30-detox-mind-retreat
Commission on the Status of Women Extends Nomination Deadline for Annual Women’s Awards to Friday, Jan. 22
The City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women is seeking nominees for the 2021 Woman of the Year, Toby Strout Lifetime Contribution, Emerging Leader and Young Woman of the Year awards. The deadline for submission of nominations for 2021 has been extended to Friday, January 22, 2021. These awards will be presented during Women’s History Month in March, 2021.
Award recipients will be recognized at a virtual celebration during the month of March, 2021.
Nomination forms are available online at: https://bloomington.in.gov/boards/status-of-women/woman-of-the-year,
or by contacting Sue Owens at email@example.com.
The Alzheimer's Association is hosting a Walk Volunteer Recruitment event. Join the Bloomington Walk to End Alzheimer’s Planning Committee to support the mission and host our local Walk event. Your efforts support local families and caregivers while accelerating critical research.
Together, we recruit Walk teams, raise awareness, engage local businesses, plan events, and cheer participants all season long. All interests, skill sets, and time constraints welcome. Plus, we have a lot of fun planning and preparing for our events!
Join our virtual Volunteer Kickoff on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, at 5:30 PM/ET to find your match. RSVPs required at bit.ly/WalkVol21. Ready now? Complete this interest form and get connected to your local Walk staff partner. (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1iiAa5s8gDqGIje319fyr-8NR-2tBwh6B4_1g-2EZ8Kg/viewform?gxids=7628&edit_requested=true)
Share your news with us!
Submit your news to the Chamber by the 12th or 28th of each month to be included in the bi-weekly Membership Matters emails.