Small Business

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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Pizza parlor, dog groomer among those going mobileRestricted Content

October 15, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Neighborhood Pizza, which operates out of the back of a souped-up box truck equipped with a pizza oven and other necessities, is among a growing number of startups that are hitting the road--literally.
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PEOs bouncing back following shakeout: Professional employer organizations enjoying growth as companies seek better ways to manage benefitsRestricted Content

October 8, 2007
Scott Olson
Even though Sentelligence Inc. in Noblesville has only five employees, the tiny tech firm offers an appealing benefits package rivaling that of a large corporation. The designer of diagnostic sensing devices for diesel engines has not discovered the Holy Grail of human resources. Rather, it's using what's known as a professional employer organization. Companies contract with PEOs to handle all the headaches of human resources, including payroll, payroll taxes, Worker's Compensation claims, health plans, and other employee benefits, not to...
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Leader Corporation of Indiana: Chasing the American dream Couple dives into deep end from the startRestricted Content

October 1, 2007
Marc D.
Couple dives into deep end from the start Tom Foreman had worked for other contractors, but in 1993 he decided the time was right for him and his wife, Donna, to start their own business. So they founded Leader Corporation of Indiana, which provides control systems (think temperature controls, security and automation systems) for commercial and institutional customers such as Lucas Oil Stadium, the Conrad Indianapolis hotel and the Pendleton Correctional Facility. He was 53 at the time. Donna was...
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Health care fix may wait for '08: But other federal bills important to small business are making headwayRestricted Content

September 24, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
That's not what many NFIB members wanted to hear. "I've been a member of [the advocacy group] since 1985, and since 1985 the top issue has been health care that is affordable for businesses and employees," said Barbara Quandt of Indianapolis-based Quality Environmental Professionals Inc. The firm's health insurance costs increased by 33 percent in 2007, and Quandt said company leaders are "quaking" with dread over what will happen in 2008. QEPI covers 75 percent of insurance costs for its...
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Home entrepreneurs test child-care watersRestricted Content

September 24, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Motherhood is a common path to the home-based child care business, but more childless women looking for self-employment options also are getting into the field. Nearly 3,000 Indiana child-care providers are licensed to provide services in their homes--including 469 in Marion County.
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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

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