Entrepreneurs have a new place to find information for how to get a business started in Jay County.

Jay County Development Corp. executive director Travis Richards on Friday updated Portland Redevelopment Commission on the area dedicated to entrepreneurship on the new Jay Region website.

Richards noted that the redevelopment commission had talked about the need to help potential entrepreneurs in the past. A section of the website — jayregion.com — is intended to help address that need.

The site offers a small business resource guide, which includes information about funding that is available, including revolving loans, the facade funding program and the Launch Jay pitch competition. It also provides details about organizations that are available to assist entrepreneurs.

Richards also invited the commission members — Rusty Inman, Reda Theurer-Miller, Joe Johnston, Mike Simons and Dave Teeter — to be part of the “pathway committees” that are part of the county’s Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program process. The committees will look at specific areas — advancing e-connectivity, enhancing quality of place, promoting community wellness and strengthening local economies — as they work toward helping the county decide who to best allocate its nearly $4 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Johnston asked about progress toward expanding access to high-speed internet in the county, which is one of the options being discussed for the ARPA funds.

Richards explained that there are some efforts already underway, including Watch Communications building out line-of-sight wireless broadband through Federal Communications Commission Connect America Fund Phase II contracts.

He added that other technologies are being developed that could make it easier to provide high-speed internet access in rural areas.

Theurer-Miller expressed her hope that county government officials would take advantage of the HELP process to guide spending decisions.

“HELP is the planning process,” said Richards, noting that the county had to commit a third of its ARPA funds to be guided by the program. (The county can receive up to an additional $1 million through Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.)

Richards noted a goal to take advantage of the guidance from the state government through HELP to plan not only for how to use the designated ARPA funds but also to provide advice using its economic development funds from wind and solar projects and economic development income tax dollars.

The commission also discussed issues with semis damaging signs and decorations that hang on light poles along Meridian Street in downtown Portland.

Theurer-Miller, who sits on the redevelopment commission as well as Portland Main Street Connect, said it has been a frequent problem. She pointed out that about $30,000 has been spent on lights and signs, as well as the hardware to hang them, and that investment needs to be protected.

Teeter suggested that the city could look into enacting an ordinance prohibiting semis and other large vehicles from parking along Meridian Street.