Small Business

RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Business isn't losing any sleep over new technologyRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Tim Altom
I've been looking over some business polls from 2007 and 2008, and I have to tell you I'm disappointed. As a technology columnist, I'd hoped that companies would be perpetually lathered over all sorts of thorny technical issues that only new purchases could solve and that I could critique. Silly me. But still, I went into the exercise with high hopes. After all, isn't every aspect of a business permeated by breakable, worrisome technology of all kinds? And doesn't every...
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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE: MATRIX LABEL SYSTEMS INC.: Label maker manufacturing growth - again Fourth expansion project set to open this summerRestricted Content

March 24, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE MATRIX LABEL SYSTEMS INC. Label maker manufacturing growth - again Fourth expansion project set to open this summer Within a month, Plainfield-based Matrix Label Systems Inc. will break ground on a fourth addition to its central Indiana facility, adding nearly 17,000 square feet of warehouse space and potentially more workers. That's just the latest growth spurt at the 23-year-old company that started out of a garage and now has 50 employees and $15 million in annual revenue....
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Farm Fresh clients pay a premium to support local growers, organicsRestricted Content

March 24, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
Matt Ewer and his wife, Elizabeth Blessing, launched Farm Fresh Delivery LLC in July. With nearly 500 subscribers already, the organically- and locally-grown-groceries delivery business is blooming in a segment where many large, mass-market retailers failed during the dotcom bust.
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: New tax break makes Indiana more attractive than everRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Cedric D\'hue
Rapid growth in the high-tech fields of biotechnology and life science has made Indiana a shining example of how promoting emerging industries can transform an agricultural and manufacturingbased economy into a national leader in innovation. It has done so by creating an environment in which knowledge-based businesses can thrive. Building on this success, Indiana continues to position itself as a leader in emerging technologies. A new tax law that took effect this year will present another major step toward this...
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Inventors wary of reform bill: Radical changes to U.S. patent law may be hindrance to small playersRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Scott Olson
A federal bill expected to receive a vote from the Senate this year would trigger the most radical changes to the U.S. patent system in more than 50 years. Supporters of the Patent Reform Act of 2007 want to switch to a "first-to-file" system that would grant patent rights to the first person to file an application. The United States is the lone country still using a "first-to-invent" system that rewards an inventor who first conceives the innovation, even if...
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Firm that sells sunglasses for large heads lands Wal-Mart dealRestricted Content

January 28, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
In March 2006, USA Today picked up a local newspaper's profile of Indianapolis-based Fatheadz Inc., the company Rico Elmore and two partners founded in 2005 to sell eyeglass frames for larger heads. That eventually led to the company's big break: A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executive read the article and ordered buyers to track down Fatheadz to make a deal.
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Fans give dancing a whirl: Many studios report seeing a boost in enrollment, younger studentsRestricted Content

January 28, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
As millions of television viewers have been swept up in the twirl of the ABC reality series hit "Dancing with the Stars," local studios are cashing in on the craze as everyday folks try to learn to dance like fall winner Helio Castroneves. Dance studio owners said they've seen a surge in business since the television program debuted in 2005, and the tempo has picked up with each new season. Simply Ballroom owner Romaric Cansino said he surveys all new...
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VIEWPOINT: Improving health: more than a January fadRestricted Content

January 21, 2008
Julia Tanney
As I waited in line at the cafeteria just into the new year, I watched the man in front of me. It would be easy to assume the salad and wrap station would provide patrons with a healthful lunch option. Yet I saw a generous portion of fried chicken in a spinach tortilla topped with a pile of cheese and several servings of salad dressing. The man might have started with good intentions, but in a matter of seconds a...
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Community education keeping up with business: Lawrence Township, other districts making classes more convenientRestricted Content

January 14, 2008
Scott Olson
Thirteen years ago, long before the current commotion over escalating property taxes in Marion County, a local public school superintendent became embroiled in a similar uproar. Residents of Lawrence Township in 1994 challenged former district leader Bernard McKenzie to rein in what they perceived as excessive spending of taxpayer funds. He responded by creating the Lawrence Township Community Education Program as a testament to the citizens and their support. Today, it has grown to serve about 6,000 people annually and...
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' Set the bar high': LESSONS LEARNED KEVIN TEASLEY President, GEO Foundation CEO, 21st Century Charter SchoolsRestricted Content

December 31, 2007
-Andrea Muirragui
KEVIN TEASLEY President, GEO Foundation CEO, 21st Century Charter Schools Kevin Teasley didn't have clear-cut expectations when he and a small group of reform-minded dreamers opened 21st Century Charter School in 2002. The publicly funded-yet-independent schools were brand new in Indiana, and no one really knew what came next. Would 21st Century's one-room schoolhouse approach draw talented teachers? Would students respond to a different kind of education? Organizers had high hopes, to be sure, but they operated more on instinct...
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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE: RIPPLE BAGEL & DELI LLC: Now for something completely different Retirees sell medical-supply firm, try deli businessRestricted Content

December 31, 2007
Tammy Lieber
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE RIPPLE BAGEL & DELI LLC Now for something completely different Retirees sell medical-supply firm, try deli business Often, when retirees aren't ready to really retire, they line up consulting gigs or take a part-time job in their industry. When Ken and Susan Richman sold their locally based medical-supply distribution business, Fulfillment Plus, to employees in 2002, they decided to start a business in an entirely new industry-one known for a high failure rate. The Richmans had no...
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PROFILE: AimFire Marketing: Job hopping led marketer to become her own boss AimFire's specialty: Optimizing Internet search engine results

December 24, 2007
Gabrielle Poshadlo
AimFire Marketing Job hopping led marketer to become her own boss AimFire's specialty: Optimizing Internet search engine results Little more than three years ago, Susan Young's custom Brownsburg home had two extra bedrooms, and the daily commute to Synergy Marketing Group in Indianapolis kept her home and office in separate worlds. Today, Young has two new babies: her 7-month-old daughter, Elaina, and her young business, AimFire Marketing. One of those once-empty rooms is now the heart of her six-figure career....
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Indesign LLC: Engineers designed firm after losing corporate jobs Ownership stake gave workers even more motivation to succeedRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Marc D.
Eleven years ago, AT&T/Lucent Bell Laboratories announced it was closing its wired consumer product design division in Indianapolis and consolidating operations in New Jersey. That left about 90 employees here with a choice: Move or find another job. Most went or joined other companies. But 34 decided to stick together and start their own business here-Indesign LLC. Today, the high-tech electronic design and development company near Fort Benjamin Harrison is a $6 million-a-year business with 53 employees and clients that...
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Women business PAC: Committee raising funds to promote female owners' agenda

December 10, 2007
Emily Groen
Local women business owners are trying their hand in politics heading into the 2008 campaign season. Launched in February, the Indiana Woman Business Owner's Political Action Committee will raise money to promote political candidates who champion femaleowned businesses. "The purpose is to support candidates ... that seek to protect and develop women-owned and minorityowned business," said PAC Chairwoman Billie Dragoo, founder and CEO of Indianapolis-based medical staffing company Repucare. Its mission is simple, she said: "to advance the agenda of...
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PROFILE: Stitches & Scones: Entrepreneur sews together her enterprises Yarn-store owner finds ways to keep doing what she lovesRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Jo Ellen
Stitches & Scones Entrepreneur sews together her enterprises Yarn-store owner finds ways to keep doing what she loves Mollianne Cameron took a page from the book of successful businesses with her current business, Stitches & Scones, and two planned ones: Crafty Capers and The Amish & Antique Quilt Store. Each retail venture marries business to Cameron's passion for knitting, crocheting and hand stitchery. The lesson: Do what you love and the money will follow. Growing her own customers was another...
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PROFILE: Silverback Consulting Group: Consultant helps clients navigate tech jungle Silverback looks to diversify health care, bank businessRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Ed Callahan
Silverback Consulting Group Consultant helps clients navigate tech jungle Silverback looks to diversify health care, bank business In the jungle that is today's business world, businesses can't survive without information systems. And if they need help finding their way through all the technological underbrush, a local consulting firm wants to be the 500-pound gorilla that clears a path for them. Silverback Consulting Group was founded in 1997 to help businesses upgrade their internal computer and phone systems. Its consultants plan...
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Vets serve country, customers: Franchises offer breaks to would-be entrepreneurs leaving the militaryRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
On Veterans Day this year, retired U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Robert Flores didn't attend parades or reminisce with friends. Instead, he worked from open to close at his Little Caesars Pizza store at 11530 Westfield Blvd. "I've been here every day since we opened," Flores said, who debuted the Carmel shop Oct. 31 after receiving assistance from a Little Caesars program created to help veterans become franchise owners. As part of the program, Flores, 45, received a discount of...
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Full incubator widens reach: Tech center to help non-tenantsRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Scott Olson
The "no vacancy" sign hanging at an Indiana University business incubator has prompted officials to launch a program in which startup companies can gain access to support services without renting space. IU's Emerging Technologies Center, on West 10th Street near the Central Canal, houses 25 companies in about 44,000 square feet of space. The center has been operating at full capacity the past two years and has a waiting list of four companies. For those who can't get into the...
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Niche firms thrive despite anonymity: Some small businesses don't need storefronts to keep customers comingRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Marc D.
Whimsical Whisk isn't your neighborhood bakery. Pastry chef Clare Welage never wanted it to be. She started the patisserie in 2004 with plans to differentiate herself from the competition by making desserts from scratch using all-natural ingredients, designing items specifically for the customer and-just as important-going without a storefront. "I've always felt that if you open up a storefront and you have a specialty product, something somewhere gets compromised," Welage said. "Ultimately, it's the quality of the product or it's...
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Dog walker throws leash around new careerRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Emily Groen
Amanda Briggs weaves in and out of the bustling lunch crowd in downtown Indianapolis, keeping a close eye on her canine clients Griffen and Isabella. Briggs, 25, continues her walk through the busy streets, heading to the American Legion Mall and some much-needed grass. Such is the life of a professional dog walker and pet sitter.
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Fine arts programs prepare students for real world: Artists taught how to deal with galleries, market workRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Most fine arts students used to exist in a bubble-running to class in paint-splattered clothing and practically living in their studios, channeling their muse and honing their craft. Once they graduated, those who were driven enough to try to make a living off their talent still had a lot to learn about running a business. But now many universities are doing more to make sure art students graduate with the business skills they need. Local photographer Ginny Taylor Rosner graduated...
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PROFILE: Roundpeg: Narrowing its focus helped Roundpeg find the right hole Networking also makes a difference for marketing firmRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Marc D.
Roundpeg Narrowing its focus helped Roundpeg find the right hole Networking also makes a difference for marketing firm Lorraine Ball is a human energy bar who seems to have more ideas than there are minutes in a day. She left her job as vice president of creative services for Conseco Inc. in early 2002 to start her own business focusing on team building and strategic planning for large companies-only to discover that in the post-9/11 world, big companies weren't investing...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Is your Web site a cost or an investment?Restricted Content

October 29, 2007
Tim Altom
I don't particularly like to shop, but I like seeing how other people shop, especially online. There are always so many surprises. Of course, the big research is in e-commerce, where buyers spend money online. Studies show the number of people willing to buy online is growing steadily. The Census Bureau shows a consistently upward trendline through August 2007 (www.census.gov/mrts/www/ecomm.html). Most experts seem to believe that not only are more people throwing down their plastic electronically, but established shoppers are...
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Feds OK women's biz centers: Program wins affiliation with SBA; details on set up, funding to comeRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
After a 19-year run as a pilot program, a national initiative aimed at helping women start businesses finally has earned a seal of approval from the federal government. As an official U.S. Small Business Administration program, the Women's Business Center concept gains the stability that supporters had been seeking for nearly two decades. And that's good news for women like Krista Bermeo, an Indianapolis artist who makes melted glass jewelry in her namesake Fountain Square studio. Bermeo sought help from...
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Clinton's 401(k) proposal receiving mixed reviews: Experts disagree on whether plan can spur savingsRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Scott Olson
Republican presidential candidate Herbert Hoover promised a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage, leading everyone to believe they would be prosperous under his administration. Fast-forward 80 years and a candidate from the other side of the aisle, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., is offering an incentive more fitting for the new millennium: a match on workers' 401(k) contributions. Time will tell whether Clinton becomes president and ultimately fulfills the pledge, but what prompted it is Americans' reluctance...
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  1. I still don't understand how the FBI had any right whatsoever to investigate this elderly collector. Before the Antiquities Act it was completely legal to buy, trade or collect Native American artifacts. I used to see arrow heads, axes, bowls, corn grinders at antique shops and flea markets for sale and I bought them myself. But that was in the late 60's and early 70's. And I now know that people used to steal items from sites and sell them. I understand that is illegal. But we used to find arrow heads and even a corn grinder in our back yard when I was a child. And I still have those items today in my small collection.

  2. I lived in California and they had many of the things noted in the proposed suggestions from the "Blue Ribbon Panel". California is near financial collapse now. Let's not turn the great state of Indiana into a third world dump like California.

  3. The temporary closure of BR Avenue will get a lot of attention. But, one thing reported by the IndyStar really stands out to me, and is extraordinarily depressing: “Police also have agreed to crack down on noise violations, traffic violations and public intoxication.” In other words, the police have generously agreed to do their jobs (temporarily, at least), instead of just standing around waiting for someone to call 911. When is someone in this department going to get off their fat arse (looking at you, Chief), get their minds out of 1975-era policing and into 2014, and have his department engage in pro-active work instead of sitting around waiting for someone to be shot? Why in the hell does it take 7 people getting shot in one night in one of the city’s biggest tourist destinations, to convince the police (reluctantly, it would appear) that they actually need to do their f’n jobs? When is the Chief going to realize that there’s a huge, direct, proven correlation between enforcing the law (yes, all laws, especially those affecting quality of life) and preventing larger crimes from occurring? Is it racial BS? Is that what this extraordinary reluctance is all about? Is the department and the city terrified that if they do their jobs, they might offend someone? Whom, exactly? Will the victims of violence, murder, assault, rape, robbery, and theft be offended? Will the citizens who have to tolerate their deteriorating quality of life be offended? Will the businesses who see their customers flee be offended? Or, is it simple ignorance (maybe the Chief hasn’t heard about NYC’s success in fighting crime - it’s only the biggest g*&#am city in the country, after all)? Either way, Chief, if you don’t want to do your job, then step down. Let someone who actually wants the job take it.

  4. I thought Indiana had all the funding it needed for everything. That's why the state lottery and casino gambling were allowed, as the new tax revenue would take care of everything the state wanted to do.The recommendations sound like they came from California. Better think about that. What is the financial condition of that state?

  5. I was a fan of WIBC in the morning, Steve was the only WIBC host that I listened too, he gave the news with so much flare that I enjoyed listening to him on my way to work. Katz is no Steve. Sadly, I will not be listening to WIBC anymore.

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