Indiana Touts Record Small Business Growth

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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.

Indiana set a new record for small business growth in 2018. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the Indiana Small Business Development Center and Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center helped launch 318 small businesses and secure more than $86 million in government contracts for Indiana businesses, respectively. The state says the efforts resulted in the creation of more than 1,500 jobs among small businesses last year.

Aaron Vigil-Martinez, vice president of small business and entrepreneurship for the IEDC, says the state saw significant increases in the tech, agbiosciences, and manufacturing industries, as well as "main street" businesses throughout the state. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Vigil-Martinez touted Indiana's small business efforts.

"We really pride ourselves on how we've taken a solid direction with our small business programs, those being the ISBDC and the PTAC, being intention about providing one-on-one business advising services to small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the state," said Vigil-Martinez. "Those range from market research reports, business evaluation, but really being a connector and convener within each of the communities that we operate out of so that we're not just 'one and done' with our clients, but we actually see them through meaningful processes and connect them to other resource partners at the state and local level to make sure that they're successful in their business journey."

The Indiana SBDC is described as a "one-stop shop" for entrepreneurs looking to start and grow a business. The Indiana PTAC helps businesses compete for and win federal, state and local contracts. 

Vigil-Martinez says talent and funding remains a challenge for small businesses, just as they are for larger businesses. He says the state tries to couple its business advising services with those provided at the state and regional level to connect them small businesses to talent and, if possible, venture capital sources. 

As Indiana looks to build upon the growth seen in 2018, Vigil-Martinez says the state needs to continue to look at industry trends to see what needs have to be met for businesses to be competitive. He says efficiency in government will be a key factor.

"You look at the partnership the Indiana Small Business Development Center has really honed in on over the last year with the Secretary of State's INBiz website. We're working in tandem with our sister agencies so that we can be that connector and convener and make sure that there are less hurdles for small businesses and entrepreneurs to either get started or continue their journey of growth throughout the state."

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Vigil-Martinez touted Indiana's small business efforts.
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