Chamber, SBA Partner to Accelerate Growth

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Senator Joe Donnelly (pictured left) made the SBA partnership announcement Friday during an event at Stage Ninja, a company located at the Stutz Building in Indianapolis. Senator Joe Donnelly (pictured left) made the SBA partnership announcement Friday during an event at Stage Ninja, a company located at the Stutz Building in Indianapolis.
INDIANAPOLIS -

The chief executive officer of the Indy Chamber believes the organization's selection as a U.S. Small Business Administration microlending partner is "just the tip of the iceberg" of what can be done to help secure additional dollars for small businesses in central Indiana. Michael Huber says, as an official microlending intermediary, the chamber's Business Ownership Initiative now has access to millions more in federal funding and can expand its reach throughout the nine-county region. Huber says the hope is to accelerate growth for entrepreneurs.

Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), who serves on the Senate Banking Committee, pushed for the BOI program to be recognized by the SBA. "Small businesses are the backbone of our communities by providing new opportunities for growth. This affiliation will allow them to leverage SBA resources to help small businesses expand, create jobs, and promote economic development in Indiana."

Indeed, Huber says the lion's share of Hoosier companies are small businesses. "Over 90 percent of the businesses in Indiana are businesses of twenty employees or less. So, if you actually look at where job-creation and where wealth-creation is gonna occur, it's much more likely to happen with small businesses." Huber adds "the vast majority" of wealth-creation in the state is from small businesses.

Huber tells Inside INdiana Business this program also fits into bigger-picture economic development goals of the chamber. He says the organization is "re-tooling" a lot of its efforts to focus on existing businesses.

“Small business owners are our risk-takers, innovators and job creators. Many companies reach a point where they need a little capital to make a big leap forward - say, $5,000 to $50,000 to lease more office space, hire another employee or buy new equipment. Access to capital is a major issue, so we aim to provide alternative financing along with the advice and training to help make every dollar count."

Since the inception of the chamber's microloan program, it has lent nearly $1 million dollars in amounts between $1,000 to $100,000.

Indy Chamber CEO Michael Huber tells Inside INdiana Business the program and partnership are focused on taking companies to the next level.
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