Martindale-Brightwood tagged for program boosting business owners

The Martindale-Brightwood Community Development Corp. is one of four “community-serving sites” which the city has selected as it expands its Microenterprise Navigator Program.

The Local Initiative Support Corp. created the Microenterprise Navigator Program in 2021 to provide technical assistance and training to business owners who are at or below 80% of the Area Median Income and provide goods and/or services to residents of low-to-moderate income areas.

Other organizations selected are Indy Black Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Neighborhood Development and Crooked Creek Community Development Corp.  

The program is intended to strengthen microenterprises owned by low-income individuals from under-resourced and underserved communities to be able to compete in the market and grow and provides resource navigation services for other microenterprises in the community that do not qualify to receive technical assistance under this program. 

The two pilot partners, La Plaza and Kheprw Institute, served more than 160 low-income, minority microenterprise owners during their two-year tenure. In addition, 64 of the businesses served have since registered with the State of Indiana through this program – allowing them to open a business bank account separate from their personal finances, start building their credit score, and create opportunities to access capital. In this second round of funding, each of the four new partner organizations is expected to serve at least 30 microenterprises over the next 10 months. 

 “Our work at LISC Indianapolis is focused on closing the racial wealth, health, and opportunity gaps that exist in our city,” said Dr. David Hampton, executive director of LISC Indianapolis, “The Microenterprise Navigator Program specifically targets and prioritizes communities and microenterprises that have historically faced barriers to resources and business services, allowing them to grow their businesses and compete in the market.” 

As part of the city’s Annual Action Plan to forward and advance affordable housing and community development, the Department of Metropolitan Development has supported the Microenterprise Navigator Program with $361,028.  

PHOTO ABOVE:  The Martindale-Brightwood Community Development Corp. has created new and affordable housing in the area. The neighborhood is bounded by 30th Street, 21st Street/Massachusetts Avenue/10th Street, Sherman Drive, and the Monon Trail.