Here are changes, cancellations and other updates related to the coronavirus outbreak. For a detailed list, go to www.journalgazette.net and under blogs select The Scoop.
Business grant program extended
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday said a grant program to help small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic has been extended.
The Indiana Small Business Restart Grant program extension changes are:
• Through Nov. 1 for eligible small businesses in Marion County;
• Through Dec. 1, for eligible small businesses outside of Marion County.
The money is available to small businesses that have received COVID-19 relief funding through federal programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and Community Development Block Grants.
Since launching June 3, the state has issued $1.01 million in grants to 246 small businesses across 83 counties. Of this grant funding, more than $178,200 (17.5%) has been awarded to 46 certified minority-owned businesses and 58 certified women-owned businesses.
With Wednesday's changes, the state aims to increase the number of small businesses using the program and to increase the award amount that eligible businesses may be qualified to receive, a news release said. By extending the program, approved small businesses that have not received the maximum award of $10,000 may now seek reimbursement for qualified business expenses, such as rent/mortgage payments, utilities, lease payments for real or personal property, and safety investments, incurred in additional months – October and November.
Firms help schools, local food bank
Dollar General, Kellogg Co. and Unilever joined forces in Fort Wayne by providing $50,000 to two local schools and more than $655,000 in financial support, food and product to the Community Harvest Food Bank.
At a community event at a Dollar General store Tuesday, more than 645 families were served and more than 36,800 pounds of food were distributed to Fort Wayne residents in need, according to a news release.
Representatives from Dollar General, Kellogg and Unilever presented the monetary and product donations to the Community Harvest Food Bank to support the overall goal of nourishing families and meeting fundamental needs.
Additional funding of $25,000 each was provided to Abbett Elementary and Irwin Elementary.
The joint donation supports both Kellogg's Better Days global commitment to help end hunger and Unilever's United for Fort Wayne initiative that serves and empowers the nation's front-line aid organizations and support systems.
Plasma from blood aids virus patients
Plasma from whole blood donations made through the American Red Cross that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Donors are encouraged to make an appointment to give blood to help ensure coronavirus patients and others who depend on transfusions have needed blood products this fall.
In April, the Red Cross began collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma from previously diagnosed individuals, who could only give at one of about 170 Red Cross blood donation centers across the country.
Convalescent plasma contains COVID-19 antibodies that may help the most critical patients actively fighting this virus, a Wednesday news release said. Now, whole blood donations made at any Red Cross blood drive or blood donation center could be helpful in this effort.
“Donations that come back positive for COVID-19 antibodies now undergo secondary testing to confirm antibody results, and that enables the Red Cross to then potentially use the plasma from those donations for COVID-19 patients,” said Rodney Wilson, regional spokesman.
To schedule an appointment, download the free Blood Donor app, go to RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-733-2767 or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
– Journal Gazette