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Page last updated on September 16, 2021 at 9:01 am

Local government must take the lead in envisioning and creating a thriving community, identified by the health of its environment, the vitality of its economy and the equity among its citizens. Creating such a community requires cooperative participation from both the public and private sectors. This section describes the City's approach to business and sustainability, and the resulting economic development initiatives and business incentives.


COVID-19 Resources for Bloomington Businesses:

The City of Bloomington is implementing specific programs to support the stabilization of local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This list will continue to evolve. Following are the existing programs:

  • Closure of Kirkwood Ave. for Pedestrian and Outdoor Dining Space: Click here for more information. 
  • Implementation of Pick-up/Drop-off Zones: These zones are 15-minute free parking spaces in the downtown corridor, for picking up takeout or a quick stop into a store. Click here for more information, or here for a map of the spaces. 
  • Implementation of Outdoor Dining Parklets: Parklets are parking spaces adjacent to a restaurant which are converted into temporary, outdoor dining. A map of the parklets is available here. Please email with questions. 
  • Rapid Response Loan Fund (COVID-19 response): The Rapid Response Fund was created to provide immediate working capital for small businesses and cultural organizations as they waited for other funding relief. The loans of up to $50,000 each are comprised of $2 million of the City’s share of Food and Beverage Tax funds, approved for expenditure by the Bloomington Common Council, and $350,000 from the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association.  For a list of entities who have received Rapid Respond Fund loans, please see here.

    If you are interested in receiving funding, previously applied, or have received funding, click here to view your record. To qualify, businesses must be located within Bloomington city limits. If you are a borrower, email with questions.


Local employers and individuals are encouraged to access the following support mechanisms, some of which were developed by the ES&R working group and partners in response to the needs in the community:

Financial Resources for Businesses:

  • Payroll Protection Program/ Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Click here for information on federal Coronavirus relief options.

  • Monroe County CARES Reimbursement

Monroe County is currently processing requests for reimbursement for allowable expenses.  Click here to apply.

Technical assistance:

  • The Indiana Small Business Development Center provides technical assistance for employers on Small Business Administration loans and other small business sustainability needs.
  • The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce has a variety of resources and guidance available regarding COVID-19 and reopening from financial and HR to a PPE Marketplace and community opportunities for donation.
  • The Dimension Mill provides start-ups and entrepreneurs information on how to navigate available resources.


Ways to support businesses and nonprofits:


About the Economic Stabilization & Recovery Working Group: Convened by Mayor John Hamilton on March 23, 2020 to oversee the City’s response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Economic Stabilization & Recovery Working Group included representatives of City and County government, the City’s Department of Economic and Sustainable Development, the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, Dimension Mill, Inc., and CFDI Friendly Bloomington.  The working group presented its first report of rapid response recommendations to the City Council’s Sustainable Development Committee on March 31, 2020. The third draft of the report, published April 6, 2020 identified local economic impacts, business needs, resources and gaps, and established a mechanism for providing local government funding relief, wraparound services, and facilitating community partnerships.