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Taking Care of Main Street


The Taking Care of Main Street: Operating Support Grant Program provides support for the ongoing activities and administrative functions of designated Indiana Main Street programs of up to $200,000 in total awards. Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to at least forty Main Street programs.

The goal is to support Indiana Main Street organizations that provide quality services to the public following the Main Street Approach™ with special attention to organizations and communities who have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. This is an excellent opportunity to support Main Street organizations who have been forced to cancel major fundraising events due to the pandemic or who have lost funding from local municipality due to reallocation of resources for COVID-19. By providing this financial assistance, Main Street organizations will be able to coordinate programming and direct technical assistance for local small businesses, including shifts and business model changes such as online retail or social distance store layout. 

40 different programs were awarded funding on August 31. Click here to read the full announcement with a summary of how each will use the $5,000 grant. 

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

Applicant must meet all the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a current designated Indiana Main Street program whose primary purpose is executing the Main Street Approach™ as demonstrated by:
  • Significant evidence that it is viewed as a functioning Main Street organization by its community; 
  • The majority of the activities occur with regular, scheduled frequency throughout the year;
  • Facility space is utilized predominantly as a Main Street office, if applicable;
  • A proportionate amount of operating budget is allocated to direct Main Street activities; 
  • Provide significant, verifiable Main Street-focused programming and activities. 
  • Be a private, nonprofit tax-exempt agency with a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); or be an Indiana public entity (part of a city or county).
  • Must be physically located in Indiana, have an address in the region to which the organization is applying, with most of its activities taking place in the designated Main Street district. 
  • Must have an operating history as an Indiana Main Street organization for at least two consecutive years before applying to the Taking Care of Main Street: Operating Support Grant Program.
  • Must have a governing body that is representative of the organization’s service area;
  • Must annually implement program planning and evaluation processes with input from the community to be served;
  • And be a registered bidder in the State of Indiana (see below.) 

Eligible Expenses

  • Salaries;
  • Administrative fees;
  • Staff development and training;
  • Space and equipment rental;
  • Promotional costs;
  • Personnel and production costs, and supplies needed to support the organization activities;
  • Business training;
  • PPE costs;
  • Consultant fees.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Cash reserves, deficit reduction; or deficit elimination;
  • Events and activities in private dwellings or other locations not open to the general public; 
  • Capital acquisition, equipment, restoration, or new construction of buildings; 
  • Capital expenditures;
  • Any travel;
  • Projects to be delivered outside of the State of Indiana;
  • Project expenses outside of the grant period;
  • Activities that are solely for the purpose of fundraising;
  • Private functions, religious services, lobbying activities, or any non-public activity; and,
  • Costs of entertainment, including amusement and social activities such as receptions, parties, galas, dinners, etc. and any associated costs including catering, alcohol, etc. are unallowable. 

Review Process

Each eligible application will be reviewed and awarded by OCRA staff on a first come, first serve basis until funds are depleted. Information submitted in the application will be reviewed according to the following evaluation criteria:

Organizational Excellence: The extent to which the applicant organization can demonstrate sound fiscal management and administrative policies and a demonstrable commitment to continuous improvement and development of the Main Street organization. 

Community Engagement: Extent to which there is an ongoing relationship between applicant and community in the planning, participation, and evaluation of executed activities. 

Work Plan Quality: Relative to the budget size of the organization, the extent to which the applicant demonstrates a committed effort to provide its audience meaningful, impactful, quality programs and assistance. 

Grant Award Determination

Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to at least 40 Main Street programs based on demonstration of the following:

  • Program is designated by Indiana Main Street;
  • Demonstrated impact of COVID-19 on their Main Street community;
  • Provided explanation of how a reduction of funds has impacted the program’s activities;
  • Explanation of how funds will assist the organization and what future funding will support;
  • Demonstrated operating costs in excess of $10,000;
  • A current work plan;
  • Statewide and rural/urban representation of applicants.

Financial Reimbursement Procedures

Upon receiving a fully executed grant agreement, the grantee will receive 100% of the grant award upon request. All reports outlined in the grant agreement, including financial, must be received in a timely manner, throughout the duration of the grant. The grantee will be expected to maintain supporting documentation of grant expenditures sufficient to enable an audit by the State of Indiana and for monitoring by OCRA and as outlined in the grant agreement. 

All records should be maintained for three years beyond the receipt of the final payment for the project. OCRA may monitor these records at any time throughout the duration of the project and the records retention period.  


For additional information, contact Jackie Swihart or Abby Chapman

Bidder Registration and Financial Forms
Tto receive state funds, applicants must be a registered bidder with the State. 

  • Please register online and include your confirmation e-mail with your application. If awarded an IMS Operational Grant, you will need your registration username and password to access your grant agreement, so please keep these on file.  
  • If your community/organization is already registered, please include a memo that includes this information.
  • Finally, a W-9 and Direct Deposit Form are included with this application. These forms must be completed and returned with your application using the same EIN number and address you used to register as a bidder.
    • If you have any questions about this portion of the application, please contact Adam Moschell (Grant Services).

Required forms to be included in application:

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