Creating a business-friendly environment in Indiana didn’t happen overnight, and there’s still opportunity to make conditions even better.
That was the message shared by Elaine Bedel, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., during the annual Entrepreneurial Excellence (E-Day) Awards event Nov. 15 hosted by Avalon Manor in Merrillville and presented by the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center.
Bedel’s keynote address to the more than 200 people who packed the banquet facility focused on Indiana’s strengths to lure in business investment and to encourage business start-ups.
“I’ve worked with economic development professionals around the state to help create more jobs for Hoosiers,” Bedel said.
Bedel said the state is home to an estimated 500,000 small businesses, defined as companies with fewer than 500 employees, which employ more than 1.2 million people.
Bedel said the state’s present business environment, which features a pro-growth regulatory and business friendly tax climate, didn’t happen overnight.
“The past decade plus, the state has focused on cost-cutting efforts to create the regulatory (and business) climate we now have,” she said.
Bedel cited recent rankings by Chief Executive magazine, which placed Indiana fifth overall nationally and first among Midwest states as a good place to do business.
To maintain the momentum, Bedel said the state now is focusing on investing in workforce development and infrastructure initiatives. A better trained workforce means state residents will be better prepared for more advanced and better paying jobs.
Bedel said it’s important for the state to maintain its reputation as a place to start a business. She said the IEDC and state’s SBDC offices offer an assortment of free services to help entrepreneurs.
Bedel said the state’s SBDC offices helped launch 275 new businesses this year, which represented $87 million in new capital investment and 1,100 new jobs.
“We want an environment where we grow our own small businesses,” Bedel said.
Several Northwest Indiana entrepreneurs and individuals were presented with Entrepreneurial Excellence (E-Day) Awards on Nov. 15. The 2018 honorees include:
- Minority-Owned Business of the Year: Chip Lee of C. Lee Construction, Gary
- Women-Owned Business of the Year: Lori Lake of Intercontinental Subscription Services, Michigan City
- Small Business Advocate of the Year: Chris Chatfield of First Merchants Bank, Munster
- Emerging Business of the Year: Jeff Conti of Coffee Cabin, various locations
- Family-Owned Business of the Year: Radtke family of Pioneer Lumber, Michigan City
- Entrepreneurial Success: Joshua Halpern of Albert’s Diamond Jewelers, Schererville and Merrillville
- Small Business Persons of the Year: Julie and Tony Bombacino of Real Food Blends, Chesterton
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Scott Albanese of Albanese Confectionery Group Inc., Merrillville
Additional information on this year’s honorees is available on the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center website.
Latest posts by Larry Avila (see all)
- American Community Bank names new board member - April 6, 2020
- Residents, businesses come together to assist community through crisis - April 6, 2020
- INDOT has more than 1,000 positions to fill during virtual job fair April 16 - April 3, 2020