INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 14, 2016) - The Indy Chamber voiced support today for the State of Indiana’s 10-year strategy to invest $1 billion in entrepreneurship and innovation programs and empower the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to take a more active role in supporting Hoosier small business and start-ups.
The Indy Chamber’s Entrepreneur Services division serves as the host to several small business resource providers offering coaching, capital and other support across the Indianapolis metro; the region’s Business Ownership Initiative (BOI), including the Central Indiana Women’s Business Center, a program funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center (CISBDC), and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Under the plan announced by Governor Mike Pence at today’s Innovation Showcase in Indianapolis, the statewide offices of the latter two agencies will shift from the Lieutenant Governor’s Office to the IEDC.
“In the Indy region, 80 percent of our job creation comes from homegrown companies and start-ups,” said Michael Huber, Indy Chamber President & CEO. “We’ve redefined economic development success and restructured accordingly - we’re focused on attracting new business, encouraging existing employers to invest and expand, and building a better climate for turning new ideas into new ventures.
“By pulling together business attraction, small business services and entrepreneurial programs under the Indy Chamber, we’ve become more effective and efficient – we’re encouraged to see the IEDC expanding its portfolio to support the entrepreneurs and small businesses that are some of Indiana’s most prolific job creators. We look forward to working together on these efforts.”
Huber noted that BOI, CISBDC and PTAC offices are able to collaborate under the Chamber umbrella to serve more current and potential business owners with one-on-one coaching and program support.
“In 2015, our team provided nearly 5,000 hours of business coaching, and another 5,500 combined hours of classes and workshops aimed at small business issues,” he said.
Huber added that access to early-stage financing continues to be a top priority for Indy’s entrepreneurial community, and lauded the new investments announced for the 21Fund and other growth capital initiatives. The Indy Chamber manages the nation’s largest Chamber-affiliated microlending programs as a U.S. Small Business Administration lending intermediary, and helps connect the region’s young firms to capital as part of its coaching and outreach activities.
“Central Indiana is filled with aspiring entrepreneurs and cutting-edge ideas – and we’re pleased that the Governor’s announcement reiterates his support for the 16Tech innovation district, which will create a new pipeline of innovation for the region and the state,” Huber finished. “But we need willing investors and access to capital to maintain our momentum. Indy has added nearly 10,000 new businesses since the end of the recession, and we look forward to expanding our partnership with the IEDC to keep this number growing.”
ABOUT 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.