TOWN NEWS: Info kiosks planned; business loans available

Info kiosks planned for downtown, state park

One of the Nashville Redevelopment Commission’s goals for 2016 was to form a closer relationship with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and a town committee helped it achieve that, Town Manager/Economic Development Director Scott Rudd told commission members last month.

Rudd said that partnership is going to become visible in the form of a kiosk at the Village Green in downtown Nashville. Leaders from the town, DNR, Hoosier National Forest and Brown County have been meeting as “the kiosk committee” to discuss how to better cross-promote events, Rudd said.

For instance, there aren’t signs about what’s going on in the state park, at Yellowwood State Forest or in Hoosier National Forest in downtown Nashville, which is where most visitors to the county are, and there aren’t signs telling about downtown Nashville in the campgrounds, he said.

They hope the kiosk near the new downtown restrooms — and at least one in the state park — will help provide that cross-promotion.

He said the committee would meet with Three Sixty Group — the same marketing firm the Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau uses — to help decide how the map portion of the kiosk would look. As an example, he held up an old Brown County map from the 1930s with icons showing which activities were available where.

Rudd said the kiosk project could cost about $17,000; he said the CVB had committed $10,000, Hoosier National Forest committed about $1,500 and the town also committed a portion. The DNR was giving a location in the park, he said.

If more funding is needed for future kiosks — which Rudd would like to see — the source of it hasn’t been identified, he said.

Loans still available for Nashville businesses

Nashville still has about $60,000 to loan to businesses owners in town that need to to sustain or expand their operations or launch something new.

Since the town received a $75,000 USDA Rural Business Development Grant last year, only one business has actually taken out a loan, said Town Manager/Economic Development Director Scott Rudd.

Part of the loan process requires going through a business plan review with the Indiana Small Business Development Center, which has been going through some changes, Rudd said.

Loans can be made generally between $5,000 and $20,000 to “any private business that will employ 50 or fewer new employees and has less than $1 million in projected gross revenues,” the application says. The business has to be within the corporate boundaries of town.

Loans can be used for equipment and for working capital. The application says the grantee should have the goal to create or retain at least one full-time job for each $10,000 loaned.

A local committee reviews the applications.

Rudd said it’s possible the money could be shifted to be used by business owners or entrepreneurs in the whole county, not just in the boundaries of town, but “it might be a little early to go that route.”

The $75,000 was granted to be used as a revolving fund, so as loans are paid back, that money can be lent to more businesses.

Small Business Development Loan Program applications are available for pickup at Town Hall, 200 Commercial St., and at townofnashville.org.