by Jeffrey Harrison, president & CEO, Citizens Energy Group
Throughout the course of our 135-year history, Citizens Energy Group’s top priority has been to provide safe and reliable utility services to the residents and communities of Central Indiana. Over the years, this commitment has evolved into further supporting the betterment of the communities we serve.
In this spirit, Citizens created the Investment Collaboration On Neighborhoods (ICON) program in 1995 as a nonprofit organization to support redevelopment through public-private partnerships and nonprofit loans.
ICON offers loans with 4 percent simple interest to eligible partners and prioritizes small start-up projects with loan applications of up to $300,000 where expected program outcomes can be met within 24 months. Loans are intended to be paid off within 24 months, with no penalties for early repayment or early payoff due to sale of the property or project.
Since the creation of the program, Citizens has loaned more than $5 million in low-interest loans to local partners to support small neighborhood projects. We’ve seen success particularly when partnering with organizations working on affordable housing or neighborhood revitalization initiatives.
In recent years, ICON has funded revitalization efforts such as the Indy Fringe Theatre, the Murphy Arts Center in Fountain Square, and collaborations with organizations including Great Places 2020; Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Indianapolis; Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corporation; Martindale Brightwood Community Development Corporation; Near North Development Corporation; and Westside Community Development Corporation.
Nearly 30 years of making short-term, low-interest loans to our neighbors and redevelopment partner organizations has kept us firmly connected to our community. ICON’s redevelopment efforts continue to keep us plugged in to the network of leaders working to enhance quality of life and economic development here in Central Indiana.
To find more information about ICON, including the application, click here
Jeffrey Harrison joined Citizens Energy Group in 2003 and has served as President & CEO since 2015, championing diversity, inclusion, and community engagement during his tenure. Since 2020, he has also chaired Business Equity for Indy, a collaboration of Central Indiana businesses and institutions working for racial justice.
Citizens Energy Group provides natural gas, thermal energy, water, and wastewater services to about 900,000 people and thousands of businesses in Central Indiana.