Creating healthy environment for small business development mission of Indiana SBDC
With more than 512,000 companies employing 1.2 million Hoosiers, small businesses play a critical role in maintaining long-term economic growth in Indiana and supporting good jobs in our communities. As state director of the Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC), I’ve heard countless stories from Hoosier entrepreneurs and small business owners who are finding success here. From food trucks and landscaping businesses to software developers and manufacturers, these stories are a testament to Indiana’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and the state’s focus on equipping innovators with the tools needed to champion 21st century developments and launch new ventures.
During the past decade, Indiana has worked diligently to create the best environment in the nation for doing business, and the results speak for themselves. Today, Indiana is ranked No. 1 in the Midwest and No. 6 in the country for entrepreneur friendliness (Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Small Business Policy Index 2019) and received an A grade for ease of starting a business.
But as we celebrate our successes, we also recognize the challenges, and exciting opportunities, that face small business owners. These challenges are why the Indiana SBDC was formed almost 35 years ago.
The Indiana SBDC, which is a program under the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC), offers a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs looking to start and grow a business. It delivers expert guidance and resources designed to assist them through all stages of development. Our mission is to create a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses.
Through our network of 10 regional offices across the state, the Indiana SBDC assists small businesses in developing and executing its business plans, evaluating market research, creating financial projections, formulating strategic plans and determining the value of its business.
For example, the Northwest Indiana SBDC continues to work with B.Nutty, the Portage-based gourmet peanut butter producer, to expand its food distribution and co-packing operations while also helping grow its client base across the U.S. Moreover, the Indiana SBDC can help small businesses overcome the challenges of hiring its first employee and exporting its products to markets around the world. And thanks to partnerships with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the IEDC and our host universities, as well as the Indiana communities that continue to support our organization, we’re able to offer these services at no charge to our clients.
Through late fall 2019, the Indiana SBDC was tracking toward a third consecutive record-breaking year for small business growth, assisting in 366 new business starts, almost $130 million of capital infusion, and in the creation of 4,100 new jobs. In Northwest Indiana alone, our regional office assisted with 46 new business starts, $7 million in capital infusion and in the creation of 378 new jobs.
In the years ahead, we’re committed to continue cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships, growing and diversifying our client base, and increasing the Indiana SBDC’s statewide efforts to support small businesses and build on Indiana’s economic success. And we’ll continue to set ambitious goals, working collaboratively with our partners to identify new opportunities and increase awareness of the resources available to small businesses in our state.