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WEST LAFAYETTE, IN. – The Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) has received funding from the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist Indiana-based companies to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Second-stage companies (10-99 employees) meeting the criteria will receive strategic research and frameworks to grow jobs through the Economic Gardening program. Economic Gardening is an entrepreneurial approach to economic development that seeks to grow the local economy from within. The program focuses on supporting local stage-two companies seeking to grow their business with strategic information and strategies to help accelerate job growth. The $4,200 fee will be covered by the CARES Act funds for qualifying companies.

Why focus on second-stage companies? Small businesses are the primary driver of job growth in Indiana. Existing second-stage businesses generated nearly 38% of all new jobs in Indiana in 2019, higher than larger-sized enterprises in the state.

A team of Economic Gardening specialists with expertise in the areas of geospatial analysis, market research and digital marketing will be assigned to assist the CEOs in identifying the key issues that may be hindering their growth. The specialists employ a variety of sophisticated corporate tools to identify new markets, provide competitive intelligence and industry trends, assess digital marketing efforts and find qualified sales leads to deliver insights and information that CEOs can implement immediately.

Bo Beaulieu, professor of rural and regional development with the Purdue Center for Regional Development and Department of Agricultural Economics, said, “It was our hope that we would help retain or grow 20 jobs over a period of 3-4 years. We were heartened to know that the program helped realize a net growth or retention of 132 jobs along with a net increase of 17% in gross domestic revenue” for the 19 companies served during this time period.

The Economic Gardening program qualifications for entrance into the program by a company are:

1.    Represent a for-profit, privately held business.

2.    Non-metropolitan.

3.    Employ at least 10 but not more than 100 people.

4.    Generate annual revenues of $750,000 to $50 million.

5.    Maintain its principal place of business in Indiana for at least the previous two years.

Learn more about the eligibility requirements and apply on a secure platform at https://pcrd.purdue.edu/engagement/economic-business-development/economic-gardening. Completed applications will be reviewed in a timely fashion with decisions communicated to the company within two business days. For additional information, contact Emily Del Real at edelreal@purdue.edu  or 765-494-7273.

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