By George Vlahakis, Kelley School of Business
To help small companies in Indiana hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the Indiana University Kelley School of Business is offering no-cost assistance to businesses needing to shift operations online, while also providing paid internship opportunities for its students.
Kelley is partnering with Indiana Small Business Development Centers and will also work with economic development centers, chambers of commerce and business hubs such as the Dimension Mill in Bloomington. The program is called the Kelley HOPE Digital Project.
“COVID-19 is having a tremendous impact on the state’s economy,” said Bipin Prabhakar, chair of Information Systems Graduate Programs at the Kelley School and a Fettig/Whirlpool fellow. “Particularly hard-hit are small businesses that have traditionally operated in person, not online. For some, going online will be a lifeline to survive.”
“Businesses may not have the time, knowledge or resources to implement an online model quickly,” added Alan Dennis, the Kelley School John T. Chambers Chair of Internet Systems. “Even after stay-at-home orders have been lifted, many consumers will still prefer to go online. We want to help these companies by offering a no-cost service to alleviate the operational barriers created by the COVID-19 pandemic.”