Small Business Grants

Here are some additional Grant and Loan opportunities for our Local Businesses, along with some new Webinars that you may want to check out.

Small Business Grants

LISC Small Business Relief Grant Round 5- Due by August 3.

Applicants may apply for one business only and must be 18 years of age to apply. For business owners with multiple businesses, please complete this application based on your largest business owned. Each grant is limited to one individual/business.

What are the size of the awards?
Grants will be made in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. LISC will use the funding to provide grants to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of Covid-19.

What can the grant be used for?

  • Payables to include rent and utilities
  • Meeting payroll (to include the applicant)
  • Paying outstanding debt to vendors
  • Other immediate operational costs

The Grantee shall fully comply with all applicable federal, state, local (and any other governmental) laws, executive orders, rules, and regulations in connection with its use of grant funds.

Awards will be made to qualified businesses, and eligibility is based on accurate and complete submission. Priority will be given especially to entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.

All awardees will have to certify that they are promoting the best interests of the community and are negatively impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

Kiva 0% Interest crowd funded Microloans of up to $15,000

Businesses in the LISC network are eligible for matching funds from LISC that match loans from the crowd dollar for dollar through the platform.

Businesses can apply for both the LISC grant and the loans, and are encouraged to contact indianapolis@local.kiva.org to let them know of the LISC referral once an application has been submitted in order to be eligible for the match.

Upcoming Webinars

20 Cyber Topics in 20 Weeks Series – SBA

Thursday July 30th at 11:00 am

Under the leadership of the Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), Purdue MEP and many Indiana cybersecurity providers have developed a series of essential cybersecurity topics. 20 cybersecurity topics in 20 weeks is an effort to provide Indiana businesses with the training needed to achieve CMMC Level 1/basic small business information security and to improve the Indiana DIB’s cyber-health. In addition to live webinars, all of the presentations will be recorded to create a library of cyber information that clients can view when they do have the time to focus on cyber health and defense acquisition regulation compliance. 20 weeks of cybersecurity training will begin this month and run through December 2020. These training sessions will be delivered by a wide-range of Indiana cybersecurity providers; Purdue cyberTAP, Sterlyn Group, TCC Solutions, Lifeline Data Centers, RevealRisk, AME Group, Sondhi Solutions, IU Health and more! Cost? This training is free!

3 Tips to Publish Your Website With Confidence – SCORE

Thursday July 30th at 1:00 pm.

With the world changing every day, publishing and updating your website can feel like a daunting task.

Even with a template that takes care of the look and feel of your website, you still need to create the content for your pages that reflects current events and COVID guidelines surrounding your business.

It’s easy once you know where to focus. You can publish your website quickly with just the essential pages you need to get yourself online.

Join us for this presentation led by Jenna Shaffer with Constant Contact, where she’ll show you the best practices on:

  • 4 questions your homepage must answer before you hit publish
  • The real purpose of your about page and how to create one your visitors want to read
  • How to make it easy for visitors to find and contact you
  • Tips for using images on these pages
  • eCommerce and shopping cart landing pages
  • And more…

Use Test My Site to Optimize Your Website – GOOGLE

Thursday July 30th at 3:00 pm

Join us for a deep dive on how to use Google’s free Test My Site tool to help optimize your website. In this session, we’ll be joined by Billal Qureshi, Performance Lead for Mobile Experiences at Google, who will take you through the process of diagnosing site issues using Test My Site. You’ll learn simple steps that have helped others increase conversions and lower bounce rates, all while creating the best user experience possible. No coding is required — just bring a healthy appetite for discovering new ways to make the best of your landing pages.

Products: Test My Site
Difficulty Level: Introductory

Thursday July 30th 6:00 pm

The Business Ownership 101 workshop outlines four critical stages of business development. It will help shape your business idea, share a variety of resources in each stage, and create next steps needed to launch and/or grow. The workshop will also give you time to ask questions and learn from others who are looking to launch a business. This is the first step on your path to becoming a successful business owner!

Photo by Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash

Student Membership

Student Membership

Do you have a college student in the house who will be studying remotely this semester? If they need to go somewhere safe to get their studying and work done efficiently, you can send them to Level Two Coworking. We have started a student discount for college students ages 18+. They only have to pay $50/month or $200 for the semester to be able to study in a wonderful atmosphere with Speedy Wifi, Free Coffee, and Private Study rooms!  Level Two Coworking space is a great place to study.

Indiana Mask Mandate Coming Next Monday (Updated July 28th)

Earlier this week, Governor Holcomb came out with a new Executive Order that will require Hoosiers to wear masks beginning on Monday, July 27th.  While the exact wording of this order has not been released, we do know some details:  “Cloth masks and other non-medical face coverings are recommended for all people, both public and private, in interacting in their workplaces and community, such as shopping. The only exception is children younger than 2 years of age; they should not have face coverings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A mask or other face covering may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or improvised from household items such as scarves, bandannas(sp) and T-shirts. The mouth and nose should be covered.

The executive order requires face coverings for anyone 8 years old or older in the following places:
• Public indoor spaces and commercial entities
• While using public transportation or other vehicle services such as a taxi or ride share
• Outdoor public spaces when it’s not possible to socially distance from people not in the same household”

While there is a threat of a Class B Misdemeanor it is not clear who will enforce the mandate, and even the Governor stated, “please know the mask police will not be patrolling Hoosier streets…..We don’t want it to get to the point where misdemeanors come into play,” he said. “We don’t think we’re there yet.”  Also, in a twist, state AG Curtis Hill has announced that he thinks the Governor has overstepped in the mandate.  Hopefully, we will be able to see the order in detail when signed, and we will know a bit more before Monday.

Update:  The Governor came out with the actual Executive Order on Friday, July 24th.  This Executive Order did away with the enforcement guidelines along with any criminal penalties for not complying with the mandate.  We also have additional invoices that give us some clarity like the following:

  • It lasts until August 26th unless “rescinded, modified or extended”.
  • This mandate does not extend to “private offices, private workspaces, or meetings in which six feet of social distancing can be achieved and maintained between people not in the same household”

For more information, check out the executive order.  

At Level Two, we have been keeping track of all Executive Orders, and will continue to make sure our space is Safe for all of our Coworkers and their clients.  We do ask that our Coworkers wear masks when in public spaces such as the hall or restrooms, or when up and around members of the community.

Other Small Business News and Articles for Your Weekend Reading

Is a New Stimulus Package on the Horizon?:  Treasury Secretary Mnuchin recently released the Administration and GOP’s desires for the new Stimulus package, now we wait and see how they can come together with the House and Senate Democrats.

Micro-Stresses add up and can be leading to burn-out and exhaustion:  Stress is alive and well, and seemingly little things can build up and push us over the edge. These “micro-stresses” can have have an enormous toll on our productivity and well being, but “if we see them for what they are, we can build the support network, mindset, and constructive responses that we need to head them off.”

3 Oxymorons in Business You Must Understand: We think the first one is probably the most important.

How to Negotiate Via Email:  As more and more communication happens online and via email, it is important for us to be conscious of the message we are sending via electronic communications.

Why Mentoring is More Important than Ever:  Here are five mentoring practices to apply to your business.

Have a great weekend!

John C. Anderson

Level Two Executive Director

Are you interested in checking out webinars that could help you start or grow your small business?  We try and get the news out from our partners, so that you can have access to the information you need to help your business thrive.  From an outdoor Happy Hour for networking to an SBA Business Development program and the future of Technology and Business, here are some great ways to learn more about running your business this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SBA 8(a) Business Development Program Online Recruitment Summit – SBA

Tuesday July 21 at 9:00 am

Small businesses taking part in the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program can become 8(a) certified and work to win sole-source Federal contracts of up to $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing. They also qualify for specialized training, marketing assistance; and access to government surplus. Want to know more? During this online summit you will learn: What the benefits are to being an 8(a) certified firm If you qualify for the 8(a) program About the 8(a) application process This workshop is definitely for you if: You want to take advantage of federal contracting opportunities You have a service or product to sell to the federal government Your business has two (2) years in operation SBA 8(a) Business Development Program Recruitment Summit login information and access code will be emailed once registration is complete. Sign-up today!

Plainfield Chamber Lunch

Tuesday July 21st at 11:30 am at Hummel Park

Aaron Garner, Tetra Prime Consulting–New Rules of Networking

Catered by: The Coachman Restaurant and Lounge

The meeting will be held in the Hummel Park Charleston Pavilion, located on the west side of the park. Access you the Pavillion off via Sugar Grove Road.

July 21: Prepare to Persevere – The Future of Technology & Business – SCORE

Tuesday July 21 at 2:00 pm

The coronavirus crisis will be the catalyst for small businesses to make big changes now, and in the future, in order to persevere and thrive.

Join Steve Hoffman, investor, author, and CEO of Founders Space, as he discusses the latest trends in technology and how they will affect businesses. He’ll discuss new opportunities and where venture capitalists are focusing their attention and investments.

You’ll discover:

  • Where to find new opportunities
  • Technological breakthroughs that will shape industries and our economy in the coming years
  • How you can prepare to take advantage of this

Use Google Tools to Help You Land Your Next Job – Google

Wednesday July 22nd at Noon

Learn how to discover new job opportunities using Google Search and organize your job search experience using G Suite tools. In this workshop we also share strategies to improve your resume, tips to help you communicate effectively online, virtual interview best practices, and the latest resources from Google and other partners to help support job seekers.

Products:Job Search on Google, G Suite (Sheets & Docs), Google Meet
Difficulty Level: Introductory

 

Virtual Executive Women’s Forum – A Joint Event – Women & Hi Tech and Executive Women in Finance Indiana: Construction and STEM, The Perfect Career Combination!

Thursday July 23rd at 11:45 am

Please join us for this FREE event hosted by Women & Hi Tech and Executive Women in Finance. There are numerous industries and career paths that benefit from a STEM professional’s problem solving, analysis, project management and disciplined scientific skill and thought process. Gain insight into how STEM skills fit within the needs of today’s construction projects. Hear case studies from accomplished leaders within the construction industry where designing and building is their core business strategy.

Google Refresh – Claiming and Maintaining Your Listing – ISBDC

Thursday July 23rd at Noon

Join the West Central ISBDC to learn about Google My Business and all the updated tools to utilize within your business!

Retail Revelations – Strategies for Improving Sales, Margins, and Turnover – SCORE

Thursday July 23rd at 1:00 pm

This time presents unique challenges for retailers of all sizes, across industry and geographical boundaries. It’s more important than ever to be doing the right things that directly impact your retail business surviving and thriving – even amidst the most challenging of times.

In this webinar, presented by retail expert and SCORE mentor Ritchie Sayner, you will learn why retailers fall prey to the non-profit cycle and how to rise above it.

We will discuss:

  • The concept of inventory turnover and why it is vital to cash flow and revenue growth
  • How initial markup impacts profitability as well as strategies for controlling markdowns
  • The advantages and disadvantages to online selling that you MUST be aware of
  • And more….

Plainfield Chamber of Commerce Happy Hour

Thursday July 23rd at 4:00 pm at The Coachman on their patio

Join us on the Deck of The Coachman for a time to network in the open air, while getting to know a few of your Chamber Members and others.

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

 

 

Remote workers

As we look back over the past few months, and as many of us were tying to juggle e-learning, household duties, partners who also work from home, and some semblance of productivity, we understand that these experiences hardly resemble how remote work looked pre-COVID-19.

Now as Indiana continues to open back up, more and more employers are facing a choice of whether or not they want to adopt some type of work from home strategy for the future.  Study after study reports that working remotely increases productivity, and after discussing this with local business owners, this seems to be the case here as well.

We also know that when working remotely, it is important to put a division between family and home duties and work duties.  Setting up boundaries is key.  This is where a coworking space or shared office space can come in.

Coworking spaces can give remote workers several of the advantages of working from home, like flexibility in work schedule and cutting down on commute time.  They also can provide advantages over working from home, like providing private Meeting Rooms for conference calls, and allowing for a clear separation between work life and home life.

These spaces can also provide employers and businesses increased flexibility in overhead as many of the leasing contracts are short term down to as little as a month.  This way businesses can reduce their long-term leases and try out different local spaces on a month to month basis until they find out one (or more) spaces that fit their need.  Utilizing a coworking space will also reduce costs as many of these spaces, like Level Two, include water, coffee, and printing.

Level Two currently offers discounts of 20% to teams of 4 or more members, and has taken several safety precautions to make sure our coworkers are safe.  If this is something you might be interested in for your employees, give us a call at 317-932-0369 or email us at Info@leveltwocoworking to find out more details!

Photo by DISRUPTIVO on Unsplash

Level Two is proud to announce a program that we have been working on with the Town of Plainfield, with additional support from Home Bank and First Merchants Bank.  Due to our desire to help facilitate a healthy entrepreneurship ecosystem in Hendricks County, we have started an Entrepreneurship Scholarship program.  This program will provide $500 of the $750 total cost of annual memberships at our coworking space to an entrepreneur and up to three other members of their team, if they fit into 1 of these two categories:

  1. Your business was negatively impacted by COVID-19 and you need to find a new workspace for your operations.
  2. You have an innovative idea or product, and you would like a new workspace to operate out of while you turn this idea into a business.

The Town of Plainfield established a budget of $10,000 for the Entrepreneur Coworking Scholarship Program, which is a part of a bigger $340,000 COVID-19 Small Business Economic Response Plan.  “During this crisis, Level Two’s value is demonstrated more than ever as it has provided regular updates for resources, not just to members but to all small businesses, on navigating the restrictions, accessing funding options, and even how to maintain mental health during these trying times,” said Town Manager, Andrew Klinger. “Having a membership at Level Two is invaluable for many entrepreneurs. Our Small Business Crisis Response Grant helped businesses manage while their doors were closed for several weeks. This next roll-out is helping businesses relocate or gain access to resources to start their business or push it to the next level.”

If you are interested in learning more about this program, you can check out more information by checking out the scholarship page, give us a call at 317-932-0369, or shoot us an email at Info@leveltwocoworking.com.

 

Level Two Coworking SafelyOutside Sanitation StationLevel Two Tables Safe DistanceLevel Two Table safe distance

 

 

 

 

 

Level Two Inc is open, and we have sanitation stations, complementary masks (thanks to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation PPE exchange) and after a Herculean effort by Board Member Brad DuBois, we have moved tables and desks to be mindful of the CDC distancing guidelines. If you need a place to remote work safely, away from the chaos of a home office, come check us out!

Our Coworking Space will continue to follow other safe protocols such as:

  • If a Coworker feels sick, or has a fever, they will not come to the space.
  • Please only 1 person per table (except the really large tables that can fit two on opposite corners).
  • Clean up your space after use. We have provided Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer for use.  Also make sure to throw away your trash and sanitize your surfaces.
  • Client Meetings are limited to 4 people, and you are asked to use the Large Boardroom and maintain the proper 6′ spacing.
  • Small Meeting Rooms are limited to 2 people for the time being.
  • We have provided disposable dishes, and for the time being please do not use community dishes. Also, feel free to bring in a mug etc. from home for your use, but please do not leave it in the sink unwashed.

We ask that all coworkers continue to follow our Coworking Space community rules:

  • First and foremost, Leave the space better than when you found it.
  • Small Meeting Rooms are for the community, you should not commandeer them for only your purposes.
  • Erase the dry erase boards after use to prevent streaking.