State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) encourages Hoosier small-business owners and entrepreneurs to apply for a free program that provides direct technical support to help build their online presence.

The Indiana Small Business Development Center launched Project HOPE and recently partnered with the Indiana University Kelley School of Business to support long-term economic recovery of Hoosier small businesses and entrepreneurs. Pressel said through the program, eligible companies may apply for no-cost assistance to help establish or increase their online presence through website development, e-commerce support, and other digital tools and services.

To be eligible, Indiana small businesses must meet the following criteria:  

-Be an Indiana SBDC client;

-Have been in business as of Feb. 15, 2020; and

-Be able to demonstrate a negative impact from COVID-19.

Pressel said Kelley School of Business students and recent graduates are able to receive paid internships through this program to assist Hoosier companies with creating or modifying websites, building e-commerce platforms, improving cybersecurity frameworks, migrating data and more. Interns are overseen by faculty members, and projects are completed within two weeks.

To learn more about COVID-19 resources and no-cost counseling available to Indiana entrepreneurs and small businesses, visit