ARI to get $30M in state READI 2.0 funding

April 11, 2024 — Accelerate Rural Indiana (ARI) will receive $30 million from the state to solidify Interstate 74’s southeastern corridor as a top destination for talent. ARI will receive over $300 per capita of READI 2.0 investment which is the largest per capita READI investment in the state. This historic investment into one of only two exclusively rural/rural-mixed regions in Indiana will accelerate growth along the I-74 corridor and reimagine one of Indiana’s greatest assets – its rural frontier.

Today, the coalition of Batesville, Greensburg, Rushville and Shelbyville along with Decatur, Rush and Shelby counties were named a funding recipient of Indiana’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI 2.0) by Governor Eric Holcomb.

Bryan Robbins, ARI steering committee chairman and executive director of EDCGDC commented that the ARI region is excited to leverage IEDC’s $30 million dollar investment into our region to expand quality of life, quality of place, and quality of opportunity projects. We are committed to using these catalytic funds to propel ARI partner communities toward continual growth.

Joshua Marsh, Mayor of Greensburg said that with the READI 2.0 announcement showcasing a significant investment from IEDC and Governor Holcomb, we are ready to launch into what Rural, Reimagined really means, and to show the world how it is done. Our small but mighty region will show why this investment will lead the way in Indiana for impact.

Deanna Burkart, Decatur County council stated that Accelerate Rural Indiana came together and rose to the challenge of the READI Grant process. The opportunity was a uniting factor that no doubt has cemented long-term working relationships and already strengthened our region. We are grateful for the opportunity to showcase our potential and to now utilize the award to speed toward growth and new development!

In 2021, ARI was awarded $20 million in READI 1.0 funding, also the highest per-capita READI award in the state. In total, the region’s READI 1.0 project portfolio is expected to attract nearly $500 million of public and private investment to the region by 2026. ARI has already disbursed nearly $10 million in funding to seven projects across the region. ARI is one of only four regions to increase their award amount from READI 1.0 to READI 2.0.

ARI’s READI 2.0 award will build upon the region’s READI 1.0 success. In February, the region submitted its READI 2.0 application which included 5 key priority areas: Rally Housing Investment, Raise Incomes, Revitalize Quality-of-Life, Reinforce Educational Attainment & Innovation, and a ‘Rural. Reimagined.’ Marketing Campaign. Utilizing input from over 3,000 residents, anchor institutions, and other key stakeholders, the contents of the application exhibit a grassroots approach to rural investment. The group will continue to utilize the plan to pursue additional funding outside of the READI program to impact each of the plan’s priorities and seize further opportunities for growth. 

In 2023, ARI formed the Accelerate Rural Indiana Regional Development Authority (ARI RDA) to govern the region. The ARI RDA Development Board will work with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to determine which of the region’s projects will be funded with this round of READI funding.

Having previously blazed a path of rural excellence in Southeastern Indiana through READI 1.0, Accelerate Rural Indiana communities will capitalize on the $30 million READI 2.0 investment to prove that housing growth, job creation, entertainment attraction, and – most importantly – population growth in rural regions is possible.


Launched by Gov. Holcomb and led by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), READI encourages regional collaboration and data-driven, long-term planning that will attract and retain talent in Indiana. The $500 million READI fund was passed by legislation during the 2021 session and was divided among 17 regions. Through READI, 17 regions across the state that represent all 92 counties are moving forward with projects and programs designed to enhance Indiana’s regions for current and future generations of Hoosiers. Collectively, the state’s $500 million investment is expected to yield an additional $12 billion public, private and nonprofit dollars invested (19.72:1 investment leverage ratio) in enhancing Indiana’s quality of life, quality of place and quality of opportunity. During the 2023 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed an additional $500 million for READI 2.0.

Post Ad 2