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Communities throughout Indiana will get another $500 million in READI awards



Indianapolis, Indiana – Governor Eric Holcomb and senior state officials announced on Thursday that fifteen regions in Indiana will split $500 million in new economic development awards aimed at improving the state’s quality of life, place, and opportunity.

The funds are a component of the second Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (REAADI 2.0) in Indiana, a grant-loan program that has been a defining feature of Holcomb’s policies.

Projects financed by the initiative will have an impact on all 92 counties. Plans to boost childcare options, create new work-based learning collaborations, promote small businesses, and increase housing availability are a few of them. New parks, trails, and other amenities that enhance the quality of life in several Hoosier communities and draw skilled workers and their families to the state are also projected.

“Indiana is leading the way in future-focused investments in our economy and in our communities, ensuring that all Hoosiers of today and tomorrow have the opportunity to prosper,” Holcomb said. “READI has already resulted in more than $12.6 billion invested in quality of place and quality of life assets. The second iteration of the initiative – READI 2.0 – along with additional committed investments from the Lilly Endowment, will bring billions more to Hoosier neighborhoods, preparing communities, industry, and talent for the next generation and beyond.”

During a board meeting on Thursday, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC) board approved the investment commitments and regional allocations.

Accompanying the investment is a $250 million grant that will be given out by Lilly Endowment Inc. With this declaration, the state has committed $1 billion to READI overall. Holcomb, whose term is short, started the initiative in 2021.

The 15 areas that makeup READI 2.0 began working on their financing submissions last summer. Their deadline for submitting proposals was February. The quasi-public organization in charge of the initiative, the IEDC, visited the areas and conducted multiple forums to hear about their goals for the future and past investments as part of the funding discussions.

The prior threshold of $50 million was increased to a maximum payout per region of $75 million. But none of the regional prizes were worth more than $45 million.

According to Holcomb, this is because each of the 15 regions met a “very high bar.”

“We wanted to make sure that we followed through and looked at disadvantaged and rural areas … which we did, the allocation reflects that, but also that we were able to do projects that were all over the state of Indiana. So, it brings down that $75 million,” the governor said. “As you see the sheer number of quality projects, I would have loved to have had a billion dollars. … But I think we very methodically arrived at — what was not just fair — but what was effective in spurring economic and population growth and attracting talent.”


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