Small Business Week Begins in Indiana

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Aaron Vigil-Martinez is the VP of small business and entrepreneurship for the IEDC. Aaron Vigil-Martinez is the VP of small business and entrepreneurship for the IEDC.

Governor Eric Holcomb has declared this week Small Business Week in Indiana. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the declaration celebrates the nearly 500,000 small businesses throughout the state that employ more than 1.2 million Hoosiers. Aaron Vigil-Martinez, director of small business and entrepreneurship for the IEDC, says small business represents a large part of the economy for the state.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Vigil-Martinez said a lot of industries in Indiana are grown and maintained through small businesses, which are the backbone of the state's economy.

"A lot of industries are rebirthed and grown (from small business)," he said. "They really make a large impact throughout our state. When we attract large businesses from around the world and from around the country, a lot of those employees need to shop local. They need to shop at the local dry cleaner and restaurants and, for the most part, those are the small businesses."

Vigil-Martinez says the state has seen a trend in more people wanting to shop local, especially with agritourism becoming a growing sector in Indiana. He says the biggest hurdle facing small businesses in Indiana has always been finding capital investment.

"From the state's perspective, we try to bring in tools to help access to capital to be more efficient for small businesses," said Vigil-Martinez. "Whether that's partnering in finding solutions with lenders, venture capitalists, angel investors, just a wide variety of capital sources on how do we deploy that and make it available to small businesses."

Holcomb's declaration is part of the U.S. Small Business Administration's National Small Business Week. Indiana leaders will join members of the small business community throughout the state this week to celebrate the role small business plays in the economy. Events scheduled this week include:

Monday, April 30: Small Business Roundtable

  • Elaine Bedel, president of the IEDC, will participate in a panel discussion with local small business owners and the South Central Small Business Development Center (SBDC). 2-4 p.m., CoWork Bloomington, 213 S. Rodgers St., Bloomington

Tuesday, May 1: Small Business Coffee Chat

  • Bedel will discuss the challenges faced by local small business owners in east central Indiana. 8-9 a.m., Heaven's Delight Bakery & Cafe, 1309 Park Road, Anderson

Wednesday, May 2: Indiana Small Business Impact Awards

  • Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and Bedel will recognize Indiana entrepreneurs and the work of the Indiana SBDC regional teams who support small business. 11-1 p.m., Dallara IndyCar Factory, 1201 N. Main St., Speedway

You can view the governor's declaration below:

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