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COVID-19 Response Program

Background and overview

On March 19, 2020, Governor Holcomb took action to protect and support Hoosiers during the COVID-19 outbreak with Executive Order 20-05. This order directed multiple state agencies on the expectations of providing support and protection to Hoosiers across the State. The Office of Community and Rural Affairs was therefore issued the following action item: Community Development Block Grant funds may be redirected to assist with COVID-19 needs based on guidance from the United States Housing and Urban Development.

Launched in April 2020, the COVID-19 Response Program was created to address the immediate impacts of COVID-19 and to support economic recovery in Indiana’s rural communities. COVID-19 Response Program Phases 1, 2 and 3 were funded through the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also referred to as CARES Act,  on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act (CDBG- CV) provided waivers allowing OCRA to aid both non-entitlement and entitlement communities with preparing, preventing and responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Additional CARES ACT (CDBG-CV) funding was set aside as a match for the nine communities participating in the Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program, also referred to as HELP. These matching funds will be used to support long-term pandemic recovery and ensure Indiana’s rural communities are resilient in the face of economic downturns or unprecedented health emergencies.


OCRA awarded 191 grants to 142 communities, totaling more than $38 million in funding, through the COVID-19 Response Program Phases 1, 2 and 3. Funds awarded through this program provided relief to more than 600 thousand Hoosiers across the State.

COVID-19 Response Program Supplemental Funding

To promote the timely and effective expenditure of all reverted CDBG-CV funding available, OCRA is now able to offer additional funds to COVID-19 Response Program Phase 3 grantees with ongoing economic recovery needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interested communities, who were awarded CDBG-CV funds in Phase 3, should submit a Letter of Need to OCRA no later than April 20, 2023. Letters will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.

Any supplemental CDBG-CV funds awarded can be used as aid to support additional local grants made to small businesses for the purpose of retaining LMI jobs. Businesses can use these funds for:

  • Working capital
  • Continued operations
  • Remote work support

Eligible business recipients include:

  • Small businesses (100 employees or less)
  • Microenterprises (5 employees or fewer, one employee must be the owner)

Program Instructions

Phase 3 Supplemental Funding Awards
Click here to view the list of Phase 3 grantees who have been awarded supplemental CDBG_CV funding.

Program Reporting Guidance

COVID-19 Response Program projects focused on job retention activities (i.e., grants and loans to small businesses), are required to report annually for two years (grants) or in perpetuity (for non-forgivable loans.)

The reporting for COVID-19 Phase 3 and COVID-19 Phase 3 Supplemental Funding recipients is due on July 31, 2023. This will be the last reporting required for COVID-19 Phase 3 recipients.

COVID-19 Phase 3 Supplemental funding recipients are expected to report through July 2024.

COVID-19 Phase 3 Supplemental funding recipients are not expected to meet closeout monitoring requirements before they submit reporting in the above-stated timelines.


Please read and watch all of the resources before you complete the required reporting.

Program Income Reporting

Local programs that provided loans to small businesses as part of OCRA’s COVID-19 Response Program Phases 1, 2 or 3 must submit a program income report.

The report must be submitted through the electronic grants management system (eGMS). If there are any questions, please email Pamela Guerrero at or