A handful of incentives are available right now to help open doors for small businesses in a small Indiana town.

White House Candy Company celebrated its grand opening in downtown Corydon on Saturday, but it took a lot of work and money to get to that point.

Co-owner Jennie Capelle said there were some unforeseen costs, and that's when she was offered a helping hand from Harrison County.

“They have a low interest loan we were able to use to help us with home improvements here,” Capelle said.

“It's a $50,000 loan at 1.5 percent,” said Catherine Turcotte, Executive Director of Main Street Corydon.

The Town of Corydon and the county are working together to get more businesses into storefronts downtown. Over the years, the small town has made huge strides, but it still needs more.

“When I started here three years ago, we had a 48 percent vacancy rate downtown and right now, we are down to 18 percent,” Turcotte said. “We definitely need a few destination restaurants. We need a woman's boutique, and I'd love to have an independent book store.”

Restaurant owners can secure liquor licenses at a discounted rate. The town has five more available. 

"We offer facade grants to help building owners fix up the outside of their building," Turcotte said. “We're finding as they do that, they're also fixing up the inside, and it's creating better spaces to bring new businesses.”

Down the street from White House Candy, a salon, Tease LLC, is using a grant to help pay the rent.

“It has helped so much,” said Julie Allen, the owner of Tease LLC.

The grant pays half the rent for two years, saving owner Allen about $10,000.

“That's very big,” she said.

"The first month, we pay 100 percent of their rent," Harrison County Economic Development Corporation executive director, Darrell Voelker said. "We reimburse it."

Each month, the grant will pay less of the rent totaling 50 percent after two years. 

Applying for the incentives could take about a month or two.

For more information, contact Main Street Corydon or the Harrison County Economic Development Corporation at 812-738-0120. 

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