Madison Main Street has received a $5,000 grant from Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) for operational support during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced Monday.

Madison’s program was one of 40 throughout the state to receive support through the Taking Care of Main Street program, a $200,000 allocation from OCRA to support ongoing costs like administrator salaries, equipment rentals and staff training. Madison Main Street Executive Director Austin Sims said about 90% of the grant will go toward creating a new website, which she hopes will serve as a resource for local events and businesses. The rest will go toward programs and workshops to retain Sims as the lone staff person in Madison.

Sims said the funding was “a big relief” since most state grants have centered around COVID-19 response and assistance for businesses, not Main Street itself.

“Everything was diverted towards COVID, which was needed, but there hasn’t been anything out there to help us continue with programs and projects that weren’t affected by COVID — things like improving our website and continuing to plan for workshops and within this next year,” Sims said.

Another nearby Main Street program, Vevay Main Street, also received an allocation from OCRA with funds going toward the executive director’s salary, according to a release from OCRA.

Sims said she hopes the new site will be ready by the end of September or early October. As proposed, the website will include business materials, event and workshop plans and registrations, grant information and applications, real estate listings, sponsor and donor recognition, interactive maps for business locations and inventory, community press releases and staff and business training, according to OCRA.

The rest of the grant will be used for day-to-day operations like salary, marketing and rent.

As for Main Street’s Business Resiliency Fund that assisted 39 businesses in May and June, Sims said about $2,100 is left to support businesses in the event of a flood or fire, but the program will not continue the fund.

The following businesses received a chunk of the $17,225 allocated in May and June: Mad Paddle, Serendipity Boutique, Island Style Massage, Yoga on Main, Simply Natural Salon, Shipley’s Tavern, Rugged Willow, 2nd Street Carriage House, Curl Up & Dye Again, Mad Flea, Just the Word, Attic to Basement/Sugar on Main, Shannon’s Mark of Beauty, French Tulip, 2 Sisters B&B, The Floating Cow, Unique Boutique, K&K Beauty Studio, Taylor’s Tae Kwon Do Academy, RoundAbout Madison, Suntime Printing, Blue Lotus Massage Therapy, Ditto’s, East Industries LLC, Mary’s Shear Perfection, Natural Blessings, The Main Street Antique Mall, Thomas Family Winery, G.H. Coffee Co., Indigo Massage, Purple Chandelier, Eco-Massage, Fountain Alley BodyCare, Fine Threads, Village Lights Bookstore Inc., Marqui Management Inc./Downtowner, Scrub Board Laundromat and Stretch Zone Massage.

Sims said she was glad Main Street was able to fund those businesses at a time before many other state and local assistance programs had kicked in, most recently the $250,000 grant to the City of Madison for small business employee retention.

“I feel like we were able to get things started and kick off helping these businesses and get them going,” she said.