Wed, May 26 2010 20:43
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a statement today regarding their efforts to ensure continued funding for two key provisions of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009. As part of ARRA, the SBA received $730 million to help small businesses, including $375 million to increase the SBA guarantee on 7(a) loans to 90%, and to reduce borrower fees on most 7(a) and 504 loans. Those funds were exhausted on November 23, 2009, but an additional $125 million was provided in December, which funds were exhausted in late February. An additional $60 million was then provided to extend the programs through March, with an additional $40 million added in late March, and an additional $80 million was provided in mid-April to support the program through May 31.
All of the funds allocated have now been exhausted, and so, the SBA has reinstituted its Recovery Loan Queue, which allows applicants under either program to enter the Queue in case some previously approved projects do not go forward. An applicant can remove themselves from the queue at any time so that they can be considered for a non-ARRA loan, with standard guaranty levels and all applicanble fees reinstituted.
The program has been successful in bringing both applicants and lenders back to these programs. To date, these programs have supported more than $27.5 billion in lending to more than 60,000 small businesses around the country. They have also resulted in 1,300 lenders coming back to the SBA programs.
The Obama Administration has proposed further extensions of these programs to the Congress, but no action has been taken to date by the Congress.
Mon, May 24 2010 23:19
STATS Indiana has just released the latest figures on commuting patterns for Starke and other Indiana counties, based on tax returns filed in 2008 with the Indiana Department of Revenue. For 2008, the figures continue to show that more people leave Starke County seeking employment than those who come from elsewhere to Starke County for their jobs. The top five counties sending persons to Starke County for jobs include Pulaski (258), Marshall (188), LaPorte (95), Porter (80), and Lake (51). The top five counties for Starke County residents seeking employment elsewhere include Marshall (1,485), Porter (803), St. Joseph (723), LaPorte (711), and Lake (614).
A total of 8,712 people live and work in Starke County, while 5,918 people live in Starke County but work out of the County, and only 946 people live outside of the County but work in Starke County.
Mon, May 24 2010 20:25
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has just released its preliminary unemployment figures for the month of April, 2010. Starke County saw a 1% drop in its rate from the previous month, with the April rate coming in at 12.5%, which still left the County as the sixth highest County in the State of Indiana. The April rate was also the third consecutive month that the Starke County rate has gone down from a high of 13.9% recorded in February. During the month of April, the State of Indiana rate rose from 9.9% to 10.0%, while the United States rate rose from 9.7% to 9.9%.
Mon, May 24 2010 20:15
The LaPorte District of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has issued its Construction Status Report for May, 2010. One of the projects for which letting has occured and a contract has been signed is for pipe lining on SR 39 at three different locations, including 1.25 miles north of the east junction of SR 10; 2.25 miles north of the east junction of SR 10; and 1.48 miles south of SR 8. According to the update, a pre-construction conference was held in April, and actual construction will begin on or about June 1, and be completed by the end of June. The total cost of the contract that was awarded was for $118,146, with the successful bidder being West Michigan Cable from Grant, Michigan.
Mon, May 24 2010 19:57
President Barack Obama has issued a Proclamation declaring the week of May 23-29 as "National Small Business Week." During this week, the U.S. Small Business Administration will hold its annual conference in Washington, D.C., at which time, various awards will be announced, and speakers will discuss the importance of small business in the nation's economy.
Wed, May 19 2010 22:31
Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman announced today that the City of Knox is one of 47 Indiana cities, towns, and counties who have been awarded grants under Round Two of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG). A total of $5.09 million was awarded in this round and the winners were chosen in a competitive application process from among 220 applications requesting $19 million in funding. The City of Knox was one of only eight communities that were awarded funding in both the first and second rounds. The most recent award is in the amount of $21,450 and will be used for wastewater treatment plant pump retrofits. In the earlier round, Knox was the recipient of two awards, one in the amount of $71,750 for adding a geothermal system to City Hall, and one in the amount of $21,650 for lighting retrofits at several city-owned facilities. The City will be invited to attend an award ceremony at 10:00 am (EST) on June 22, 2010 in the North Atrium of the Indiana State House. The Starke County Economic Development Foundation once again was instrumental in alerting, leading, and coordinating the preparation of applications for the City, the Town of Hamlet, and Starke County in this round. While neither Hamlet nor Starke County was successful in this round, the County did receive an award in round one of $57,500 for lighting retrofits at several buildings, and the Town of North Judson was also successful in round one, receiving $41,985 for lighting retrofits at several facilities.
The EECBG Program is funded through the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) and administered in Indiana by the Indiana Office of Energy Development (OED). Cities and towns with less than 35,000 in population, and counties with populations of 200,000 or less were eligible to apply for these grants. The purpose of the program is to assist eligible entities in creating and implementing strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions in a manner that is environmentally sustainable, reduce the total energy use of the eligible entities, increase energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption, and reduce energy costs through efficiency improvements and create new jobs and increased productivity to spur economic growth and community development.
Wed, May 12 2010 19:04
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) took bids this morning on a Small Strucuture Replacement over the Bailey Ditch on U.S. 35, approximately 3.3 miles south of U.S. 30. There were a total of six bids received on this project as follows:
Jack Isom Construction Company $647,506.87
Larson-Danielson Construction $709,554.53
Gariup Construction Company, Inc. $747,800.00
Tonn and Blank Construction, LLC $759,545.37
Rieth Riley Construction $820,542.00
Pioneer Associates Inc. $937,177.82
The engineer's estimate for this project was $998,000, meaning that all six bidders bid below that estimate.
INDOT will review the bids and make a final award sometime in the next two weeks. Construction is to be complete no later than November 5, 2010.
Wed, May 12 2010 18:32
Conexus Indiana and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), in early April of this year, launched Indiana Supplier INsight, a web-based network that links Indiana firms with potential suppliers within the state. Since that launch date, over 5,000 companies have registered on that site. The platform that is being used for this initiative stores information on registered businesses, and allows users to access the platform online in order to search for Indiana suppliers, using categories like capability, location, classification, and women or minority-owned certifications. At the same time, suppliers can search for procurement opportunities that match their area of expertise and express interest in submitting a bid.
Companies that wish to take part in this program can sign up at https://app.suppliergateway.com/conexus.
Wed, May 12 2010 17:07
If you are a local thinker, creator, or doer and you live or work in Starke, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, or Pulaski Counties, then The Society of Innovators is looking for you. The Society has just issued its sixth annual call for nominations and plans to honor up to six people and two teams from the seven-county region. The reward for being selected is $500, a plaque, and induction into The Society. Nominations must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on July 15, 2010 and you can make nominations and get additional information by clicking on the light bulb at the Ivy Tech website at http://www.ivytech.edu/northwest.
Fri, May 07 2010 17:01
The United States Unemployment Rate increased from 9.7% up to 9.9% for the month of April, despite the fact that 290,000 jobs were added duriing the month. For the first four months of 2010, there has been an increase in the number of jobs added each month, for a total of 573,000 jobs added this year. The increase in the unemployment rate was due in part to additional persons attemping to find a job during April.