Here is a look at resources that are available to you, your business or your agency, information about qualifications and how to apply or gather more information.
<b>USDA to provide relief for farmers</b>
<span style="font-weight: 400">Farmers who have suffered from the coronavirus pandemic may apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program provides $19 billion in immediate relief payments to farmers across the country. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400">The program is open to producers of specialty and non-specialty crops, wool, dairy and livestock. Eligible farmers are those who have experienced a five percent-or-greater price decline, and who face substantial marketing costs for inventories. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400">To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must also have an average adjusted gross (AGI) income of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, if 75 percent of their AGI comes from farming, ranching, or forestry, the limit of $900,000 does not apply.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400">Farmers may begin applying for aid on May 26. USDA’s Farm Service Agency will be accepting applications through local farm service offices. The Johnson County Farm Service Office is located at 3059 N. Morton St., Franklin. The office can be reached at 317-736-6822. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400">For more information on the program visit </span><a href="https://www.farmers.gov/cfap?fbclid=IwAR34x4RDBJRaxHXlhLlMkQp6wzDJEazjkml5818cElZp4RusdaWNTbCWKAI"><span style="font-weight: 400">farmers.gov/cfap</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">. </span>
<b>Huntington offering payment relief</b>
Huntington bank has announced immediate and comprehensive steps to alleviate economic injury experienced by its customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is offering the following programs to consumers and businesses, effective immediately:
For consumers and small businesses facing financial hardship related to family sickness or workplace closures due to COVID-19, Huntington will offer a payment deferral for up to 90 days with no credit bureau impact. It is also working directly with state governors’ offices to facilitate disaster declaration from the Small Business Administration for businesses to be eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Program loans.
Huntington has also suspended late fees on consumer and business loan payments, and it has also suspended the initiation of any new vehicle repossession or property foreclosure actions through the end of March, unless required by government agencies.
The bank also has existing programs in place to help consumers navigate financial uncertainty:
<li><b>Homeowner Payment Help</b>: Huntington can help customers having difficulty making mortgage loan payments. For more information, consumers can go to: <a href="https://www.huntington.com/Personal/mortgage-education-tools/payment-help">https://www.huntington.com/Personal/mortgage-education-tools/payment-help</a></li>
<li><b>Auto Loan Payment Assistance</b>: Huntington can help customers having difficulty making auto loan payments. Customers may contact the Installment Loan Customer Service Department at (800) 445-8460, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.</li>
Customers may contact Huntington at 1-800-480-BANK (2265) to speak with a customer service representative about products or programs that are available. Information about additional services is available at <a href="https://www.huntington.com/coronavirus">https://www.huntington.com/coronavirus</a>.
<b>A guide to applying for unemployment</b>
If you are temporarily unemployed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, here is a how-to guide to applying for unemployment benefits.
For now, Hoosiers no longer have to make in-person visits to a WorkOne site to apply for unemployment. You also don’t have to prove you are actively looking for a job if you were temporarily laid off due to COVID-19.
How to apply
Apply for unemployment benefits online at: <a href="https://www.in.gov/dwd/3474.htm">Unemployment.IN.gov</a>.
Where to get help
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has suspended most in-person operations and workshops, but resources are available on the agency’s website.
The agency will host two 30-minute webinars for those who are unemployed during the COVID-19 outbreak. The webinars are scheduled for the following times:
10 a.m. Tuesday;
3 p.m. Wednesday.
To register for either webinar, visit: <a href="https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/7739395683332749323?utm_source=govdelivery&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=&utm_term=&utm_content=">https://on.in.gov/UI2020</a>.
<b>Richard’s Community Kitchen</b>
What: A nightly distribution of soup or other food for those who have lost their jobs or are in need.
Where: Richard’s Brick Oven Pizza, 229 S. Main St., Franklin
When: 6-7 p.m. nightly
<b>Local website lists store hours, business adjustments</b>
A community-run website has been created to share government guidance and local business information pertaining to COVID-19. Visit <a href="https://franklinindianainfo.com/">franklinindianainfo.com/</a> for a list of adjusted store hours, businesses that have closed and restaurants that are open for carry-out.
<b>Indiana VA offering emergency aid</b>
Indiana Department of Veteran Affairs is offering emergency assistance for veterans impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. Applications are available at in.gov/dva and will provide undisrupted assistance to veterans and their families during this national emergency.
<b>InterChurch Food Pantry lifts pick-up restrictions</b>
Pantry Hours: Noon to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday.
To donate: Enter through the front door and drop off items during pantry hours. During closed hours, drop off donations at the shed outside the pantry.
<b>Soup’s On Ministry open Fridays</b>
Grace United Methodist Church will provide hot meals to those in need on Fridays through its Soup’s On Ministry. A drive-through will be open to pick up meals from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the church, located at 1300 E. Adams Dr., Franklin.
<b>Shallo’s offering free soup daily</b>
Shallo’s Soup Kitchen, located at 8811 Hardegan Street, Indianapolis, is offering free soup and bread daily for anyone in need. Carryout orders can be placed at 882-7997, or with Grubhub each day starting at 4 p.m.
<b>United Way of Johnson County Helpline</b>
Call United Way of Johnson County at 317-738-4636 for assistance in locating community resources. Visit <a href="https://www.uwjc.org/helpline">uwjc.org/helpline</a> for more information.
<b>More local food distributions</b>
Gleaners Mobile Pantry is offering a drive-up boxed food distribution at Whiteland High School on fourth Thursday of each month.
Food is available through Franklin Township Trustee’s Office. Residents of the township may call 317-736-7511 to arrange pick-up.
Impact Center at Mt. Pleasant Christian Church, 381 N. Bluff Rd., Greenwood, is offering a pre-boxed food distribution every Thursday and Sunday via drive-through. More information is available at <a href="https://www.mpcc.info/need-help/food-and-clothing/">mpcc.info/need-help/food-and-clothing/</a>.
Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi, 5901 W. Olive Branch Rd., Greenwood, is providing pre boxed food second and fourth Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to noon, second Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to noon, fourth Monday, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
St. Vincent de Paul Our Lady of Greenwood, 335 S. Meridian St., Greenwood is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 11:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. and Wednesday 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. for pre-boxed meal distribution.
The Refuge Church, 1111 S. Park Dr., Greenwood, is offering a food distribution for the next three weeks, via drive-through. Distribution is open Tuesday to Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The Food Pantry at Salvation Army of Johnson County, 325 Market Plaza, Greenwood, is open weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. No appointment is necessary, recipients are asked to bring a valid photo ID to verify Johnson County residency.
<b>Local jobs available on Aspire Johnson County</b>
Visit aspirejohnsoncounty.com/jobbank for a listing of job openings in the Greenwood-area. Those in need of a job may also upload their resume for employers to consider for openings.
<b>Map of food resources available from Indiana FSSA</b>
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has developed an interactive map to local food resources available to state residents. To find food banks near you, visit in.gov/fssa/dfr/5768 and enter your address in the search box.
<b>Relief available for Financial Center First members</b>
Financial Center First Credit Union is providing financial relief to members during the COVID-19 pandemic including: a relief loan of up to $5,000 at 0% interest and no payments for 60 days, auto refinancing with a $500 cash back incentive and no payments for 90 days, and skip-a-payment options for existing first mortgage, consumer and auto loan holders.
Members can access all of Financial Center’s free educational resources at fcfcu.com/financial-education. To learn more about Financial Center’s relief efforts, visit wecare.fcfcu.com or call 800-473-2328 to set up a free financial counseling session.
<b>FSSA launches job search tool for child care, healthcare professionals</b>
FSSA is working to link Hoosiers with the new job search tool called Hoosiers Serving Hoosiers. Direct support professionals are needed to provide critical care for older Hoosiers and those with disabilities. Child care providers are also needed to care for children of first responders, health care and other essential workers, so the rest of us can stay safe and healthy. For more information and to fill-out the interest form visit in.gov/fssa/5769.htm.
<b>FSSA announces Medicaid policy changes </b>
In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, some policy and program changes have been made to help ensure members of state healthcare plans as well as traditional Medicaid members are able to maintain continuous coverage in this critical time. Impacted state plans are Healthy Indiana Plan, Hoosier Care Connect and Hoosier Healthwise.
<li>Member health coverage will not be terminated during the public health emergency. Member coverage will only end if a member voluntarily withdraws or moves out of the state.</li>
<li>Cost sharing is suspended for the duration of the public health emergency. Members who typically had co-payments will not have any co-payments applied starting April 1, 2020. This applies to all IHCP programs including HIP. This includes pharmacy co-payments.</li>
<li>Premiums and POWER Account contributions will be waived for the months of March-August 2020. This applies to the CHIP program, HIP and MEDWorks.</li>
<li>Pharmacies are now allowed to fill prescriptions with name brand drugs in the event that the generic drug the member takes is out of supply. Pharmacies can also now fill some prescriptions early and can fill maintenance prescriptions for 90-days, if requested.</li>
<b>Horizon introduces video banking </b>
Horizon Bank has deployed several Live Video Banking machines in Indiana and Michigan to help more customer’s bank remotely during this time. From the convenience of your car, you can connect to a Horizon advisor using videoconferencing and complete almost any transaction you normally would do in the branch/
Horizon’s Live Video Banking combines personalized service of a knowledgeable advisor and full self-service technology – offering extended hours to better serve customers Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.
<b>Rent, mortgage payment help available for Hoosiers</b>
The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) is offering new resources to Hoosiers struggling to pay their rent and mortgage payments. In addition to re-instituting the mortgage payment assistance program through Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund (<a href="https://www.877gethope.org/">HHF</a>) for homeowners, IHCDA has developed a new resource <a href="https://www.in.gov/ihcda/4464.htm">guide</a> to help homeowners and renters avoid future eviction and foreclosure.
The mortgage payment assistance program through HHF can provide up to $30,000 to eligible Indiana homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage. Hoosier homeowners may be eligible for mortgage payment assistance if they:
<li>Are an Indiana homeowner</li>
<li>Own only one mortgaged home, and currently reside in that home</li>
<li>Are unable to make monthly mortgage payments and/or have past-due mortgage payments because of an involuntary employment-related financial hardship such as a recent job layoff.</li>
<li>Meet additional eligibility requirements based on income.</li>
The resource guide underscores the importance of homeowners and renters to be proactive and communicate to their property manager or mortgage lender if they are unable to make their payments. The guide also provides a list of available resources to pursue.
<b>Food banks get disaster aid</b>
Indiana residents who need help feeding their families during the COVID-19 pandemic will have greater access to assistance from food banks and pantries through a Disaster Household Distribution program approved by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
Through the program, current The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) food banks will use the network of new and existing mobile pantries to distribute food packages to families in need. About 250 sites, including mobile pantries, will assist with food distribution throughout the state, primarily in rural areas. Each household receiving food through this program can receive one prepackaged 25-pound box that includes a variety of foods.
Individuals should contact their local food bank or pantry to determine whether they are participating in the program. For additional information, visit wic.in.gov or find a food pantry near you by using Indiana’s food assistance map.
<b>eLearning resources available</b>
With Indiana schools closed for the academic year, there are several online resources available to help students continue learning at home. Parents can visit doe.in.gov/covid-19, and click on "Remote Learning Resources" to access educational tools, including free online classes for all grade levels covering multiple subjects. There’s also a parent toolkit with information on how to help students finish the school year strong, along with STEM activities, educational games, virtual tours of museums and zoos and more. For more information about remote learning, visit doe.in.gov/covid-19, or email [email protected] with questions.
<b>Emergency SBA loans available</b>
Emergency loans are available through the U.S. Small Business administration.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday said Indiana now qualifies for federal disaster assistance, which means small businesses and nonprofits can apply for low-interest loans of up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll and other bills during a public health emergency. The loan interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses, and 2.75% for nonprofits, for up to 30 years. Local businesses can apply on the SBA’s website.
For further assistance on where to turn for help, the <a href="http://www.franklincoc.org/">Franklin Chamber of Commerce</a> and <a href="https://www.aspirejohnsoncounty.com/covid19">Aspire Johnson County</a> have provided lists of resources on their websites, including how to apply for an SBA loan.
Both organizations have web pages dedicated to COVID-19 assistance.
<b>Aspire Johnson County offers business resources online</b>
Aspire Johnson County has a list of resources and several advice articles for Johnson County businesses available at <a href="https://www.aspirejohnsoncounty.com/covid19">aspirejohnsoncounty.com/covid19</a>.
<b>Bill to provide emergency relief for small businesses</b>
The U.S. Senate passed on March 25 a $2 trillion coronavirus relief fund–including $377 billion for small businesses and their employees to alleviate economic devastation inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the “Paycheck Protection Program,” which will help small businesses in the short-term by providing federally-guaranteed loans that can be forgiven to help them cover payroll, rent, utilities and mortgage interest. The House is expected to consider it later this week.
<b>Paycheck Protection Program loan application now open</b>
The application for Paycheck Protection Program loans are now online at <a href="https://home.treasury.gov/cares">home.treasury.gov/cares</a>. The program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.
Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
<b>Banking association offers advice for PPP loan applicants</b>
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will offer some relief to small businesses in Indiana as it launches on Friday, April 3. Indiana Bankers Association members ask for patience from the public as the program begins. Application volume will be very high as the financial institutions qualified to offer these loans will strive to keep up with demand.
The IBA recommends the following five things businesses can do right now with or without a PPP loan approval:
1:<b> Talk to your lender</b>, if you haven’t already. If you are experiencing or expect to experience cash flow problems, contacting your lender is the critical first step.
2: <b>Plan for the next 3-6 months</b>, if you haven’t already. We don’t know how long the pandemic will last, however, so look ahead, both in terms of a potential lengthening of the pandemic and also in how you will handle recovery and re-opening of the business if you are currently closed.
3: <b>Be ready to produce required information</b> quickly to help your lender with your application. All loan programs still require some information in order for the lender to underwrite the loan, including the ones created through the CARES Act. Be ready to produce required documentation quickly to help your lender with your application.
4: <b>Don’t panic</b> and draw on lines of credit unnecessarily. There is plenty of liquidity in the system, so don’t panic and draw on lines of credit unnecessarily.
5: <b>Have patience</b>. The banking industry wants to help you through these unprecedented times, but not all programs are in place yet, and even when they are, technology can cause hiccups or delays.
<b>Duke Energy offers grants to nonprofits</b>
For nonprofit organizations struggling to survive through the disruption of COVID-19, Duke Energy is offering emergency relief funding to help support them.
The Duke Energy Foundation, which provides more than $30 million in charitable grants each year, has allocated emergency funds to community groups that support local individuals and families through financial hardship.
Specifically, the group focused on Johnson County groups who specialize in food insecurity and hunger relief, said Jean Renk, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy.
Duke Energy has set aside $100,000 to be distributed to the different Indiana counties the company works in, including Johnson County, Renk said. The foundation sent invitations for county groups dealing with food insecurity to apply for the funding.
The hope is that an expedited application and approval process will get funding to county organizations quickly, Renk said.
The foundation is only able to help nonprofit organizations at this time, not individuals, Renk said. But Duke Energy also announced earlier this week it is not disconnecting any customer’s service for non-payment, to give customers experiencing financial hardship extra time to make payments.
The company will continue to read meters and send bills. Customers should pay what they can to avoid building up a large balance that will be harder to pay off later. As part of our regular customer service, we offer payment plans to eligible customers.
Those with questions can contact the company’s customer service line at (800) 653-5307.