STATEHOUSE — Senate District 42 was recently awarded funds to help communities continue to address the impact of COVID-19, said State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg).

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) announced an additional 80 Hoosier communities will receive more than $18.6 million in federal grant funding to support mental health services, child care services, public Wi-Fi locations, food bank/pantry services, and grants and loans for small businesses to retain employees through the third phase of the COVID-19 Response Program. Lt. Gov. Crouch previously announced 112 grants to 62 communities in phases one and two of the COVID-19 Response Program, which totaled more than $20.9 million in funding.

In Senate District 42, the following communities were awarded funds:

Shelby County was awarded $250,000 to award grants up to $10,000 to small businesses with fewer than 50 employees located within Shelby County that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

The City of Rushville was awarded $250,000 to provide $10,000 grants to any eligible business located within the city with less than 100 employees that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Connersville was awarded $250,000 to provide funds to either reopen a business, continue operations, expand payroll, restock inventory or pay for remote work technology. Additionally, funds will be allocated to create three new Wi-Fi hot spots in the city.

Decatur County was awarded $250,000 to provide grants between $5,000 and $10,000 to small businesses with fewer than 50 employees located in Greensburg, Millhousen, New Point, St. Paul, Westport and unincorporated Decatur County.

Fayette County was awarded $250,000 to create a grant program that will aid the county’s hardest-hit manufacturing, retail and service sector businesses.

Henry County was awarded $250,000 to grant up to $10,000 to small businesses with revenue equal to or less than $1 million and employers with 100 employees or less who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ripley County was awarded $250,000 to provide $10,000 grants to assist any eligible business located within the county with less than 100 employees that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses located on the Franklin County portion of Batesville are also eligible to apply.

“The past year has been incredibly hard for small businesses, making grants like these necessary to help our local economies get back on their feet,” Leising said. “I’m grateful our local communities have the opportunity to use these grants to create stronger businesses and I look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have.”