Nine small Indiana businesses are being recognized as part of Small Business Week in Indiana. The list ranges from alloy manufacturers to technology companies. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says there are more than 529,000 small businesses in Indiana that employ 1.2 million Hoosiers.
“The state is placing an increased focus on supporting Indiana’s entrepreneurial companies, and with their persistence and entrepreneurial spirit, small business owners are creating careers and opportunities vital to every community across all 92 counties,” said Governor Eric Holcomb.
The companies have worked with the Indiana Small Business Development Center, a program of the IEDC, to start, grow or pivot their small businesses. The IEDC says the awards honor the entrepreneurs’ and small businesses’ achievements and their contributions to help grow Indiana’s economy.
The 2021 honorees are:
- Community Impact Small Business of the Year: Crossroads Solar Enterprises (South Bend): Founded by Patrick Regan and Marty Whalen, Crossroads Solar Enterprises is a solar module manufacturer. It was founded on a social mission to employ individuals who have served time in prison, providing them with equal opportunity, living wage and labor skills to reenter the workforce.
- Entrepreneur of the Year: Donte Wilburn (Lafayette): Donte Wilburn, owner and operator of Premier Detailing and Wash LLC, founded the business with the goal of providing high-quality services built on servanthood and trust.
- Family-Owned Small Business of the Year: Fischer Farms (St. Anthony): Founded by Diana and Dave Fischer in 2004, Fischer Farms is a natural meat producer providing premium, local, sustainable products to Hoosier families and restaurants. The sixth-generation, family-owned farm has expanded to meet the demand for local, fresh products.
- Innovative Small Business of the Year: InsightTRAC (Syracuse): Founded by Anna Haldewang in 2017, InsightTRAC provides on-site robotic pest removal and data tracking services to help almond growers better manage and optimize their yields. The product uses autonomous technology to replace a manual process. Read here the IIB story about InsightTRAC.
- Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: bNutty Peanut Butter (Portage): Founded by Joy Thompkins and later joined by Carol Podolak, bNutty Peanut Butter is a gourmet peanut butter producer offering a variety of flavors and gift baskets. What started as a fundraiser for youth soccer in 2014 has grown into a robust manufacturing operation with multiple production lines and a national customer base. Read the IIB story about bNutty by clicking here.
- Rural Small Business of the Year: High Performance Alloys Inc. (Tipton): Founded by Russ Kirchner, High Performance Alloys Inc. manufactures and distributes superalloys and super stainless steels to serve the needs of the aerospace, chemical processing, oil-gas, medical and food processing industries.
- Start-Up of the Year: Saaslio (Indianapolis): Founded by John Harden, Saaslio is a data insight software designed to help IT-managed service providers understand their client Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) systems and their security implications.
- Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: MidAmerica Safety Solutions (Evansville): Founded by Jeff Klump, MidAmerica Safety Solutions is a traffic control safety company providing on-site traffic management for work sites in the Evansville, Bloomington, Indianapolis and Cincinnati areas. As a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Jeff and his team are committed to hiring veterans, retirees and veteran spouses through local organizations.
- Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Starlight Spirits & Wines LLC (Borden): Starlight Spirits & Wines LLC is the company responsible for the regional distribution of Huber wines. Part of Huber’s Orchard, Winery, and Distillery, the company is an agritourism destination in southern Indiana