Governor Eric Holcomb has declared this week Small Business Week in Indiana. The state touts more than 500,000 small businesses that employ more than 1.2 million people. Hoosier leaders are traveling throughout the state this week to promote small business and entrepreneurship in recognition of Small Business Week, which will culminate Thursday with the Indiana Small Business Impact Awards in Indianapolis.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Indiana Economic Development Corp. Vice President of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Aaron Vigil-Martinez said small businesses are the bedrock of Indiana’s economy.
"We have half a million small businesses within the state. They play a large role in creating and innovating within our economy," said Vigil-Martinez. "As we seek to attract large businesses, they’re also the businesses that help to maintain the Main Streets, the dry cleaners, the restaurants that we all want to eat at, so they’re really the foundation."
Indiana’s small business growth has seen continued momentum. In February, the IEDC announced 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 Hoosier businesses last year. Those efforts, according to the state, helped create more than 1,500 jobs among small businesses.
"A lot of what our strategy has been over the last couple years is to grow our own," said Vigil-Martinez. "As we progress, we still continue to do that. We’re also looking forward to attracting small businesses, high-potential startups and the talent required so that we take Indiana to the next level."
The Washington D.C.-based Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council also released its annual Small Business Policy Index, showing Indiana has moved up two spots to sixth in the country.
IEDC President Elaine Bedel kicked off the week’s festivities in Putnam County, joining the West Central Small Business Development Center in touring various small businesses and meeting with entrepreneurs. On Wednesday, she will join the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville and the Southwest Indiana Chamber for a small business event in Evansville.
The Indiana Small Business Impact Awards ceremony will be held Thursday in downtown Indianapolis to "honor Indiana small businesses for their contributions to grow the state’s economy and recognize the hard work of the Indiana SBDC regional offices to support small business."