A bipartisan panel aiming to help small businesses in Indiana will wrap up a series of statewide meetings this week. The small business caucus is planning sessions Tuesday in Kokomo and Rochester and Wednesday in South Bend and Elkhart. The meetings started more than a month ago and caucus members say several recurring themes have emerged, including a lack of so-called soft skills among prospective employees. State Representatives Terri Austin (D-36) of Anderson and Tom Dermody (R-20) of LaPorte co-chair the caucus and discussed the effort this weekend on Inside INdiana Business Television. Austin says many small business owners were not aware of available state incentives to support their efforts.

Dermody says the are also talking about government bureaucracy, especially when it comes the paperwork involved in implementing expansion plans.

He hopes the sessions will be “building blocks” for something in the future, even after he leaves the Statehouse.

Austin believes the sessions are another sign of bipartisanship “shining through” on work force and economic development issues.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

News Release

Originally Posted August 9, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Today, the Small Business Caucus (SBC) met for the first time at the Strongbow Inn in Valparaiso. State Representative and SBC co-chair Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte), joined by other elected officials, met with various small business owners to listen to their concerns and discuss ways the government can improve Indiana's small business climate.

“This was a great first meeting, and I appreciate all of the business owners that came out today to discuss their issues,” said Rep. Dermody. “It is important for lawmakers to understand the issues that small businesses face so that we can work together to facilitate the best pro-business climate in the country. Through the Small Business Caucus, we are working to create an environment that allows business to thrive and grow, in turn, providing more job opportunities for Hoosiers.”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses account for 97 percent of all employers in the state, hiring more than 1.2 million Hoosiers. In 2010, the SBA reports that 488,000 small businesses exist in Indiana. To provide an opportunity to improve the climate for these businesses, legislators from across the aisle joined forces and created the SBC earlier this year.

Hosting forums throughout Aug. and Sept., the SBC focuses on ways the government can help small businesses run more smoothly, with an emphasis on reforming regulations and providing education opportunities to better equip Indiana’s workforce.

Many small businesses, which are defined as having less than 500 employees, were represented at the kick-off event in Valparaiso. Additionally, members of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) attended as well. The forum lasted over an hour and issues like personal property taxes and ways to cut bureaucratic red tape were some of the items discussed.

“Having small businesses get involved is the key to success at these meetings, and as we continue to host these forums throughout the state, I hope more business owners will attend and participate in our discussions,” said Rep. Dermody. “These meetings provide an opportunity for you to talk and for us to listen, so I encourage everyone to help us improve small business ownership in Indiana.”

Here is the current schedule of meetings to be conducted around the state:

August 9: LaPorte.

August 20: Seymour and New Albany

August 21: Columbus and Greensburg

August 22: Fort Wayne

August 27: Indianapolis and Greenfield

August 28: Bloomington

August 29: Carmel and Lafayette

September 5: Muncie and Anderson

September 10: Terre Haute and Vincennes

September 11: Evansville and Washington

September 17: Kokomo and Rochester

September 18: South Bend and Elkhart

For more information regarding the Small Business Caucus contact Rep. Dermody at h20@iga.in.gov.

Source: The Office of Representative Tom Dermody

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