Small Business

Smaller banks seeking relief: Legislation takes on costly regulatory costsRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Scott Olson
German American Bancorp in Jasper has spent more than $1 million the past two years complying with the stringent accounting provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The cost alone is reason enough for the community bank's president and CEO, Mark Schroeder, to support a measure exempting smaller public companies such as his from Section 404 of the act. He even traveled to Washington, D.C., May 3 to testify in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee. "Ultimately, this...
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Right decision crucial for small firms:Restricted Content

April 24, 2006
Barbara Hassell
Of course, trying to be less subjective does not mean you shouldn't consider "fit" with the organization's culture. In a small company, fit can be critical. One way to attempt to reduce early turnover is to use the "realistic job preview," in which prospective employees are given both the positive and negative aspects of the job, as opposed to the traditional approach of "selling" the firm. If individuals aren't going to enjoy the job, it's better to know it before...
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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE WTH: Firm mapping out its own success Owner shifts focus from old-school engineering to GISRestricted Content

April 24, 2006
Marc D.
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE WTH Firm mapping out its own success Owner shifts focus from old-school engineering to GIS Rex Jones wants to show off his company's work, so the lights go down, a computer comes on and a map of Starke County appears on a screen. The map is a maze of green lines representing county and local roads, red for state/interstate highways, blue for water. Jones zooms in further, picking a random street in the rural county. Up pops...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: As construction costs rise, older buildings gain appealRestricted Content

April 24, 2006
Brian Mann
Construction costs continue to rise in the wake of hurricanes, tornadoes, the war in Iraq, the building boom in China and general inflation. The trickle-down effect often lands at the feet of small business owners. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Producer Price Index, prices for materials and construction components increased 0.3 percent in February, following a 1-percent hike in January and continuing a threeyear upswing. The average building cost index has increased about 45 percent since 1995,...
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Indiana to alter Web site: Small IT firms aren't thrilled with contract requirementsRestricted Content

March 27, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
For the first time in more than a decade, Indiana is shopping for a Web portal manager. Indiana Office of Technology CIO Karl Browning is attempting to make the state's award-winning Internet gateway even better. The hunt will also test Gov. Mitch Daniels' "Buy Indiana" initiative, which aims to give local companies a leg up in competition for state contracts. The larger players in Indiana's IT community say they're pleased with the new process. But some smaller firms complain it's...
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E-commerce can level the playing field:Restricted Content

March 27, 2006
Nolan Taylor
The same point can be made for small businesses, which can reach wider audiences through electronic commerce-purchasing, selling and exchanging goods and services over the Internet. So how can small-business owners take advantage of the e-commerce phenomenon? First, it's important to understand that ecommerce isn't an end unto itself, but a tool to grow your business-as such, it should be used only if it serves your business strategy. Ask yourself a few questions: Can you effectively promote your product or...
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Federal farm lending could shrivel under latest budget: Banking associations oppose proposed fee increasesRestricted Content

March 13, 2006
Scott Olson
Brent Kerns likes to compare the U.S. Department of Agriculture's lending program to that of the Small Business Administration's. In short, the USDA helps farmers the way the SBA assists small-business owners. But if a proposal to cut the budget of the farm loan program is approved, it could become as expensive to use as the SBA's offering. Supporters fear a hike in user fees would hurt those who need the money the most. "That cost goes straight to the...
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You can take it to the bank: Financial experts say state's economy is rising, merger mania isn't over and regulatory laws could take a tollRestricted Content

March 13, 2006
On Feb. 24, IBJ Publisher Chris Katterjohn, Managing Editor Greg Andrews and banking reporter Matt Kish sat down with four leaders from Indianapolis' banking and finance sector: Judith Ripley, director of the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions; Kit Stolen, CEO of Union Federal Bank of Indianapolis; Steve Beck, president and CEO of the Indiana Venture Center; and Keith Slifer, senior vice president of LaSalle Bank. Among the topics of conversation: How's the state's economy doing? Are more bank mergers on...
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IT firm bought again: New York company acquires Core Business Technology but will move HQ to IndyRestricted Content

March 6, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Now, Core Business Technology Solutions has gone down the aisle again, tying the knot last month with White Plains, N.Y.-based Convergence Technologies Inc.-a deal that makes Indianapolis headquarters for a company with 270 employees and $105 million in revenue. But, with apologies to Wynette, nobody at this wedding sang, "Stand by your LAN." The good ol' local area network is now just a slice of the increasingly diverse information-technology products and services Core offers small and midsize companies these days....
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Six firms land $6.1M from state tech fund: 21st Century program issues its first grants since 2004; local companies Semafore, Cadent among recipientsRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Scott Olson
The state launched the fund in 1999 to invest in new technologies and appropriated $137 million during the first five years of the program. The state awarded no money in 2005, partly because none was available the first half of the year. The administration took the second six months to get acquainted with the fund. Kidd left his job as vice president of the Indiana Venture Center in October to join IEDC. The veteran small-business consultant since has helped reshape...
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New support group aids entrepreneurs: Growing network quick to attract diverse membershipRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Matthew Kish
But it's not because Roots doesn't know how to write HTML code. Rather, he's got so much business coming in the doors he doesn't have any free time for turning wrenches on his own site-www.squishdesigns.com. That's a good problem to have for an entrepreneur who's still dotting the "i"s on his LLC application. He credits the influx of business to a new networking group for entrepreneurs that is attracting a sizeable contingent of women and minority business owners. The group-which...
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Banning 'McLawsuits': State bill outlawing fast-food litigation nears passageRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Matthew Kish
A bill nearing the governor's desk would make it illegal to sue Indiana restaurants-including the state's ubiquitous fast-food joints-for those extra notches in the belt. Commonly referred to as the "cheeseburger bill," the measure is part of a national effort by restaurants and small-business owners to protect themselves from enormous class-action lawsuits that have been filed against some national chains. House Bill 1113 passed out of the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters on Feb. 14 by a...
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Know where to look for funding:Restricted Content

February 27, 2006
Charles Sim
Conventional bank loans Banks provide conventional financing, evaluating loan requests against the socalled "five Cs" of credit. They must feel comfortable that borrowers have: capacity to repay the loan; capital of their own invested in the business; collateral to offer as a secondary source of loan repayment; creditworthiness, based on personal and business borrowing history; and character worthy of the bank's trust. It's in banks' best interest to minimize risk. Loans are made only where the likelihood of being repaid...
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Development plans percolating in five urban corridors: East 10th Street, Fountain Square lead FOCUS packRestricted Content

February 20, 2006
Tammy Lieber
DataSmith Technologies owner James Smith started looking almost two years ago for a building to house his business, his home and possibly a revenue-generating tenant. What he ended up with was a dilapidated former bar on a struggling section of East 10th Street that had become a haven for vagrants. Smith took a chance on the building at 2032 E. 10th St., most recently home to Mustang Sally's tavern, largely because of the involvement of the East 10th Street Civic...
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Firms face choice: Spend or be swallowed: Independent third-party benefits administrators watch consolidation wave sweep through stateRestricted Content

January 30, 2006
Tom Murphy
For small companies, "their systems costs are just eating them alive," said Donley, president of Donley & Co. Inc. "If they lose a couple large clients, all of a sudden they go from being in the black to being in the red." Donley and others say the skyrocketing cost of doing business has triggered a wave of consolidation in the Indiana market for benefits administration. Since 2003, larger companies have gobbled or plan to gobble at least seven independently owned...
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Home Room Construction: Remodeler's building plan: Double revenue Company targets homeowners considering do-it-yourself projectsRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Julie Young
Scott Heinemeyer's business is all about potential. That's why Home Room Construction tackles many kinds of projects-everything from simple handyman services to complex room additions. After all, what's the point in limiting the possibilities? "We are a big company that happens to be small right now," Heinemeyer said of his four-person firm. All told, Home Room finishes anywhere from 200 to 300 projects a year, he said, and revenue is expected to nearly double to $500,000 in 2006. Heinemeyer started...
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Firms face choice: Spend or be swallowed: Independent third-party benefits administrators watch consolidation wave sweep through stateRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Tom Murphy
For small companies, "their systems costs are just eating them alive," said Donley, president of Donley & Co. Inc. "If they lose a couple large clients, all of a sudden they go from being in the black to being in the red." Donley and others say the skyrocketing cost of doing business has triggered a wave of consolidation in the Indiana market for benefits administration. Since 2003, larger companies have gobbled or plan to gobble at least seven independently owned...
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Bike Line, Broad Ripple firm plan Mass Ave purchases: Two sales would be latest in owner-occupant trendRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Tammy Lieber
Two buildings on Massachusetts Avenue downtown are slated to change hands in coming weeks as two Broad Ripple businesses stake their claims on the resurging corridor. The first deal scheduled to close is the sale of 409 Massachusetts Ave., owned for the last 15 years by advertising firm Young & Laramore. Elizabeth Dillon, owner of RN Specialties, plans to move her growing 10-year-old company and its 21 employees into the 17,000-square-foot building after minor renovations to the ad agency's former...
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Small biz preparing wish list: Lobbyists hope to repeat past legislative successRestricted Content

December 26, 2005
Matthew Kish
But that doesn't mean the organization and its 16,000 Hoosier members will rest on their laurels for the short legislative session in 2006. The group will bring a full wish list to the Statehouse in January, lobbying against increased property taxes and health insurance mandates. It'll also petition lawmakers to restrict eminent domain seizures. Still, observers don't think the organization will have as much cause for uncorking the bubbly as it did last year. No different than last session, businessfriendly...
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Women inventors pursue their creative dreams: From doggie car seats to valve-less hydraulic systems, these visionaries keep creating practical productsRestricted Content

December 12, 2005
Cynthia A.
Windshield wipers, disposable cell phones, Scotchgardâ„¢, the first automatic dishwasher, disposable diapers, Barbie dolls, nonreflective glass, brassieres, CPR mannequins and "whiteout." These items have one key feature in common-they were all invented by women. Since the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does not keep gender statistics, it is impossible to know exactly how many patents women hold. One thing is certain: since 1809 when Mary Dixon Kies became the first woman to receive a patent from the government, many other...
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Health care: big problem for small business: Wyoming lawmaker's proposed legislation could end 10-year Senate impasse on controversial solutionRestricted Content

November 28, 2005
Matthew Kish
More than 45 million Americans lack health insurance. And more than half of them are employed or dependent on someone who works for a small business, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. It's a big problem-especially in Indiana. Between 2000 and 2004, 5.6 percent of Hoosier workers lost employer-provided health care, according to the Economic Policy Institute. That's a higher percentage than any state except Wisconsin. Legislation just introduced in Congress by Wyoming Sen. Michael Enzi, however, may...
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Fine-tuning a business strategy: Local violinmaker finds success by raising pricesRestricted Content

November 28, 2005
Matthew Kish
F ine-tuning a business strategy Local violinmaker finds success by raising prices John Welch made a counterintuitive business decision two years ago. The violin business was in decline. Asian manufacturers were turning out high-quality stringed instruments for a fraction of the price of their American competitors. Welch decided to swim against the current. He raised prices. "We realized the only way to compete with the Chinese was to improve our quality," said Welch, CEO of Indianapolis-based Sofia Violins. "We realized...
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Cable firms call foe a phony: Group touting itself as consumer group funded by biz giantsRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Chris O\'malley
At first glance, Consumers for Cable Choice appears to be one of those grass-roots organizations likely to have a framed picture of Ralph Nader on its wall. You know, the kind of activist group whose religion is social justice, whose bible is Mother Jones, and to whom eternal damnation would be to accept a penny from greedy and manipulative Big Business. Not so with Consumers for Cable Choice. The Indianapolis group that advocates more competition in cable and relaxed regulation...
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Merry Realty Inc.: Big plans for small firm Real estate agency tries to win business by teaching buyers rules of the gameRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Ed Callahan
Real estate agency tries to win business by teaching buyers rules of the game Large agencies may dominate the residential real estate game, but Indianapolis-based Merry Realty is trying to prove a small player still can make a big name for itself. For years, Merry Realty has focused its efforts on properties in Indianapolis, but it is rapidly expanding into a more diverse market, targeting booming areas like Hamilton County while staying loyal to its inner-city roots. Real estate broker...
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Technology proposals get business focus: IEDC requests new 21st Century Fund applicationsRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
It's been 18 months since state government requested new technology proposals from startups or academics. The days of waiting are now finished. "We're in business," said the Indiana Economic Development Corp.'s new director of entrepreneurship, Bruce Kidd. "The open sign is in the window. We want to start accepting applications again." On Nov. 16, the IEDC issued a request for applications to its $75 million 21st Century Research and Technology Fund. Much has changed since March 2004, when the state...
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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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