Entrepreneurial services, export grants and quality of life efforts move forward; business attraction effort reels in $850M in investment, 8,000 new jobs in 2017 so far
INDIANAPOLIS, August 21, 2017: The Indy Chamber today released a progress report on ‘Accelerate Indy,’ the ambitious regional economic strategy launched last September. Chamber leaders pledged to “rethink economic development” with plans to recruit talent along with business to the region, encourage entrepreneurship and global trade, and appeal to high-tech employers with a skilled workforce and innovation-friendly environment.
In a straightforward barometer of early success, the Indy Partnership (the nine-county business attraction arm of the Chamber) reports 65 successful relocation and expansion projects in 2017 (through July, a total of 17 more deals than the same period in 2016), bringing more than 8,000 new job commitments (up 60% from ‘16) and $850M in new investment (more than double last year’s mark).
“Indy’s reputation as a great place to live, visit and do business keeps growing,” said Indy Chamber CEO Michael Huber. “From high-tech juggernauts like Salesforce to global manufacturers like Kimora Foundry [which recently announced plans for its first U.S. factory in Shelbyville], companies see an advantage to being here – Accelerate Indy is our blueprint for a region that even more people and employers want to call home.”
Maureen Donohue Krauss, the Indy Chamber’s first Chief Economic Development Officer, oversees Accelerate Indy. She cited the Indy Partnership’s success as a “leading indicator” for the overall strategy.
“Accelerate Indy challenges us adapt to economic realities and think bigger about a pro-growth agenda,” she said. “We’ve made important strides in the first few months of 2017 – and we’re just getting started.”
Accelerate Indy identifies the most impactful regional opportunities and strategies for capitalizing on them:
- 80% of the region’s job growth is from existing employers, encouraging more support for “homegrown” firms. To help these firms, the Indy Chamber is increasing regional services for entrepreneurs specifically through their Resource Navigator- an online listing of free and low-cost small business service providers; One Million Cups- a pitch and educational event for entrepreneurs; and expanding regional small business coaching- opening locations in Hamilton, Hendricks, and Johnson counties.
- 90% of the world’s customers and capital are outside the U.S., but thousands of Indy-based, mid-market companies aren’t capitalizing on export opportunities. The Indy Chamber’s efforts in the past six months aim to make our region think and act more globally. A list of accomplishments include hosting international events, issuing GoGlobal Export Acceleration Grants in partnership with JPMorgan Chase, and hiring a new director of international programs.
- Talent is the top priority: Accelerate Indy identifies human capital as the common denominator for business success. Accordingly, the Indy Chamber’s advocacy agenda has focused heavily on workforce and education issues, seeing progress on expanded pre-kindergarten programs, funding to strengthen K-12 science, technology and math education, and employer-driven reform of state workforce development programs.
With key partners such as Ascend Indiana that prepare the Indy Region’s current and future workers for the demands of a high-skill, high-tech job market, the Chamber is working with civic partners and communications consultants on a marketing and messaging campaign to bring new talent to the region, along with the growing companies that need skilled workers.
“Perfecting our ‘pitch’ to young, educated workers – particularly in advanced industry occupations – is central to Accelerate Indy,” Krauss explained. “It’s a collaborative effort that takes thoughtful planning, but we’re making progress.”
Funding for Accelerate Indy ahead of schedule:
“Accelerate Indy challenged us with a smarter strategy for economic growth,” said Indy Chamber President and CEO Michael Huber. “With a broader definition of economic development comes larger financial needs – but our corporate community and civic partners have risen to the challenge, embraced the plan, and shown their confidence in our ability to execute it.”
Learn more about Accelerate Indy and the investors that support the plan at IndyChamber.com.
About The Indy Chamber:
The Indy Chamber is the voice of progress and improvement for the Indianapolis region's business community. With membership of nearly 2,000 businesses in the Indianapolis region, the Indy Chamber is leading the effort to strengthen the business climate, improve the state of education, revitalize neighborhoods and enhance the region's workforce. For more information, visit IndyChamber.com.
Joe Pellman, Indy Chamber, 317.464.2251,
Chris Watts, CVR Public Relations, 317.514.3184,