Small Business

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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Startups offered a fast track: Motorsports-themed incubator gets green light in BrownsburgRestricted Content

October 31, 2005
Matthew Kish
Hendricks County officials hope a new business incubator there revs the engines of local entrepreneurs. The motorsports-themed facility, to be known as Fast-Start, got the green light after a year-long feasibility study concluded the project was a logical fit for a community that already houses Prudhomme Racing, John Force Racing and Bill Simpson's Impact Racing. "It would help achieve some of our goals in Brownsburg," said Jeanette Baker, town council president and treasurer of the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership,...
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Center director ready to score: Ball State's new entrepreneurship chief has big plans for top-rated programRestricted Content

October 31, 2005
Scott Olson
The 6-foot-6-inch Cox visited the Indiana University campus on Dec. 24, 1974, as a member of the Nebraska Cornhuskers basketball team. The starting center scored 15 points and pulled down five rebounds in a 97-60 loss to the thenmighty Hoosiers. His team took solace in a free meal from a local fast-food joint that gave each ticketholder a burger, fries and shake every time IU won by 30 points or more. After scavenging the stands for discarded stubs, the 'Huskers...
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Kipps Brothers still evolving after 125 years

October 24, 2005
Candace Beaty
Walk through the Kipp Brothers showroom and you’ll find the makings of one heck of a birthday celebration: gag gifts galore, endless sugary treats and headgear that puts the traditional party hat to shame.
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Bruce R. Frank & Associates LLC: Business, basketball give adviser a leg up International perspective useful for Indianapolis consulting firmRestricted Content

October 17, 2005
Della Pacheco
At 6 feet 8 inches, consultant Bruce R. Frank is an imposing figure. But it's the 30 years of business experience the former professional basketball player has accumulated that he says helps him tower over his competition. Frank, 51, is the founder of Bruce R. Frank & Associates, an Indianapolis-based consulting group that helps life-sciences companies develop business strategies. So far, he has found most of his clients outside Indianapolis: Frank spent seven months on the road last year. The...
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Born again: Old churches gain new life as commercial spaceRestricted Content

October 10, 2005
Tammy Lieber
God may be eternal, but His houses aren't. Congregations expand, move or fade away. When they leave a house of worship behind, sometimes they find a different congregation to take over the brick-andmortar expression of their faith. Sometimes they don't. In the latter case, finding a new life for churches and temples-often solidly built and packed with unique architectural details-can be something like working a miracle. But a handful of developers have managed to give new life to old churches,...
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Biz groups join forces: Agencies hope to reach more minority-, women-owned firmsRestricted Content

September 26, 2005
Tracy Donhardt
Two organizations that aim to increase business opportunities for minorities and women have formed a united front, hoping to foster even greater diversity among companies. Indiana Business Diversity Council and the National Association of Women Business Owners'local chapter aren't only sharing knowledge and resources-they'll also share space when NAWBO moves in with IBDC later this fall. NAWBO hopes the partnership will enhance its networking capabilities. It also will give the all-volunteer organization it first-ever place to call home. For its...
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Are you prepared for DISASTER?: Despite warnings, many businesses fail to plan for the worstRestricted Content

September 26, 2005
Scott Olson
Are you prepared for Despite warnings, many businesses fail to plan for the worst Frank Hancock didn't have a disasterrecovery plan when a tornado tore past his east-side printing company two years ago, causing $5 million in damage. Severe wind gusts from the Sept. 20, 2003, storm shredded Sport Graphics Inc.'s 5-month-old warehouse and manufacturing facility and tore 13 1,800-pound air-conditioning units from the roof, dumping them on the parking lot below. One was never recovered. Amid the mayhem that...
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Basic utility vehicle rolling ahead-slowly: Assembly would happen in developing nationsRestricted Content

September 12, 2005
Chris O\'malley
A not-for-profit group developing vehicles for use in the Third World plans to open a "micro-factory" next month near 65th Street and Binford Boulevard. But the Institute for Affordable Transportation site won't mass-produce its diminutive vehicles, powered by lawn tractor engines. Rather, the donated space will become a lab for working out methods to help those in developing countries assemble the so-called "basic utility vehicles." The facility "is to basically prepare the way for this technology transfer package so it...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Efficient, tasteful design can help maximize productivityRestricted Content

September 5, 2005
Sandi Kramer
Productivity. Comfort. Longevity. While the old saying about location applies to most commercial real estate decisions, the issues of promoting productivity, providing a comfortable working environment and choosing materials that last become preeminent after the lease is signed. current space-is not something you do everyday. If you're part of a mid-sized or small business, then it's highly likely that you're juggling real estate decisions at the same time you're trying to advance your business. As a result of this pressure,...
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Staffing agency seeks bankruptcy protection: Morley Group begins reorganizing $5.3 million debtRestricted Content

September 5, 2005
Scott Olson
The 13-year-old staffing agency already owes the bank $1.94 million-a $1.17 million loan used to construct its headquarters and about $768,000 for operating expenses. President Michael Morley blamed poor economic conditions for the filing. He said the company hopes to emerge from bankruptcy quickly. "Our business is just now starting to come back and increase," he said. "We're going to be able to straighten this out. We're not taking this lightly." Other debts listed in the bankruptcy filing include a...
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Indiana Avenue looks for more than history: Cultural district faces redevelopment challengesRestricted Content

September 5, 2005
Tammy Lieber
Broad Ripple has clubs and shops. Massachusetts Avenue has galleries and theaters. Indiana Avenue has history. But history alone doesn't necessarily draw visitors and their dollars, something the organizers of the Indiana Avenue Cultural District know well. With the third annual Indiana Avenue Renaissance Festival, scheduled Sept. 9-11 at the Madame Walker Theatre Center, the cultural district hopes to capitalize on that history. Although the jazz and blues festival lasts only a weekend, it's a step toward creating a neighborhood...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: The world might be flat, but construction costs aren'tRestricted Content

September 5, 2005
Don Altemeyer
For the most part, construction has been a local story, a story about local workers building buildings in our community. But the story isn't so local anymore. Global economic forces have begun to intersect with local issues at the construction site. The result: a significant and ongoing increase in construction costs across central Indiana and the rest of the United States-an increase that shows no signs of slowing. Through the first quarter of 2004, construction costs increased at a calm...
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Trio use experience to start consultancy: State-government veterans met while at FSSARestricted Content

August 29, 2005
Scott Olson
Three veterans of state government have pooled their years of management experience to launch the women-owned business consultancy Engaging Solutions LLC. Led by Venita Moore and Debra Simmons Wilson, the company set up shop in the Indiana Black Expo building on North Meridian Street this spring to provide fiscal management, strategic planning, outreach, training and economic development services. They and part-time principal Tammy Butler Robinson say the firm's focus on serving government agencies, not-forprofits and faith-based organizations fits their backgrounds....
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Deal giving edge to unions muddies midfield contracts: Non-union contractors question whether bidding on project is worth the troubleRestricted Content

August 15, 2005
Chris O\'malley
A construction agreement that requires union wages, work rules-and union workers-at the midfield terminal project has big and small businesses alike concerned they'll be shut out of all but the tiniest contracts on the $300 million building. Unless Janet South's painting firm Deco Group agrees to accept those terms, she'd only qualify for projects of $75,000 or less-the threshold at which the agreement kicks in. That limitation, contained in the project labor agreement attached to the midfield terminal, contrasts with...
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Special Report: Buying blind: Lack of oversight leaves state in dark on real estate deals The state of Indiana knows how much it's spending to lease property statewide -nearly $40 million a year. But it doesn't know if that's too much.Restricted Content

August 15, 2005
Tammy Lieber
The state of Indiana knows how much it's spending to lease property statewide -nearly $40 million a year. But it doesn't know if that's too much. State contracts for third-party real estate services give government officials few safeguards to ensure they're paying a fair price for office, laboratory and storage space outside of state-owned buildings, those in the industry say. And state administrators have no control over seven-figure commissions paid to two Indianapolis real estate brokers in the past decade,...
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Pottery by You: Firing up the entrepreneurial spirit Pottery shop owner puts love for art to workRestricted Content

August 8, 2005
Susan Raccoli
Pottery shop owner puts love for art to work "Don't sell this place without telling me first," Katie Laux implored Pottery by You founder Liz Welter as they wielded brushes together late one night last fall. As they discussed the fun of owning a small business, Laux shared her enthusiasm for the paint-your-own pottery shop where she'd worked off and on since 2002. She loved the friendly atmosphere and the pleasant surprise when customers discovered their own creativity, and she...
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How well does your firm communicate with clients? MARKETING Kay Millar: Businesses that serve customers effectively offer a welcome reminder of how things ought to be handledRestricted Content

July 25, 2005
How well does your firm communicate with clients? MARKETING Kay Millar Businesses that serve customers effectively offer a welcome reminder of how things ought to be handled Having spent four months with my husband preparing one house to sell and another to move into, I'm sharing our observations on the behaviors of small businesses - using as examples our contractor, carpenter, electrician, painter, roofer and mason. Hopefully, this will help managers of other businesses review their own practices. Communication with...
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Researchers seek fuel-cell answers: Universities, companies see long-term potential in alternative power deviceRestricted Content

July 18, 2005
Scott Olson
The figure-eight slot-car track in the basement laboratory at IUPUI looks out of place amid the expensive computer equipment surrounding it. But when research assistant Alan Benedict fumbles with a few wires and the cars come to life, it becomes clear the racetrack is more than just a toy. The miniature cars operate on fuel cells and are part of Purdue University's exploration into the alternative power source. Scientists across the country are studying the clean power alternative, stoked by...
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CIWBC director has worked in both the corporate and small-business worlds:Restricted Content

July 11, 2005
-Kathy Maeglin
If Sharon O'Donoghue isn't the most ideal person to run the Central Indiana Women's Business Center, she has to at least be in the top five. O'Donoghue's varied background, which includes working for a Fortune 500 company, as well as running a small business, is one of her primary assets. But her passion for helping women business owners identify and reach their goals is almost palpable when she talks-enthusiastically and endlessly-about what she's doing as director of the CIWBC. "I...
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Educating entrepreneurs: Women's Business Center offers basics as well as individual counseling servicesRestricted Content

July 11, 2005
Kathy Maeglin
Joann Robinson was unhappy working in corporate America, so she started her own business, Balloons by Design, which delivers balloon bouquets and does on-site balloon decorations. The Indianapolis woman had been in business for about a year when she sought assistance in January from the new Central Indiana Women's Business Center. Since then, with CIWBC help, Robinson has gone from having about 15 customers to about 50. Robinson is one of many women who have benefited from the services offered...
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Growth in big supply at 3-year-old Milor: Entrepreneur taps experience to land big clientsRestricted Content

July 4, 2005
Tracy Donhardtreporter
Michelle Taylor's first customer was a north-side hotel that ordered 3,000 janitorial gloves a month. She got up at 3 a.m., processed the order out of her garage, and delivered the gloves in her car. Less than three years later, Indianapolisbased Milor Supply Inc. delivers 36,000 gloves a month, plus janitorial equipment and supplies and safety equipment, to universities, city and state governments, hospitals and a host of other industries across the country. The 35-year-old black female entrepreneur has moved...
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  1. Socialized medicine works great for white people in Scandanavia. It works well in Costa Rica for a population that is partly white and partly mestizo. I don't really see Obamacare as something aimed against whites. I think that is a Republican canard designed to elicit support from white people for republican candidates who don't care about them any more than democrats care about the non-whites they pander to with their phony maneuvers. But what is different between Costa Rica nd the Scandanavian nations on one hand and the US on the other? SIZE. Maybe the US is just too damn big. Maybe it just needs to be divided into smaller self governing pieces like when the old Holy Roman Empire was dismantled. Maybe we are always trying the same set of solutions for different kinds of people as if we were all the same. Oh-- I know-- that is liberal dogma, that we are all the same. Which is the most idiotic American notion going right back to the propaganda of 1776. All men are different and their differences are myriad and that which is different is not equal. The state which pretends men are all the same is going to force men to be the same. That is what America does here, that is what we do in our stupid overseas wars, that is how we destroy true diversity and true difference, and we are all as different groups of folks, feeling the pains of how capitalism is grinding us down into equally insignificant proletarian microconsumers with no other identity whether we like it or not. And the Marxists had this much right about the War of Independence: it was fundamentally a war of capitalist against feudal systems. America has been about big money since day one and whatever gets in the way is crushed. Health care is just another market and Obamacare, to the extent that it Rationalizes and makes more uniform a market which should actually be really different in nature and delivery from place to place-- well that will serve the interests of the biggest capitalist stakeholders in health care which is not Walmart for Gosh Sakes it is the INSURANCE INDUSTRY. CUI BONO Obamacare? The insurance industry. So republicans drop the delusion pro capitalist scales from your eyes this has almost nothing to do with race or "socialism" it has to do mostly with what the INSURANCE INDUSTRY wants to have happen in order to make their lives and profits easier.

  2. Read the article - the reason they can't justify staying is they have too many medicare/medicaid patients and the re-imbursements for transporting these patient is so low.

  3. I would not vote for Bayh if he did run. I also wouldn't vote for Pence. My guess is that Bayh does not have the stomach to oppose persons on the far left or far right. Also, outside of capitalizing on his time as U. S. Senator (and his wife's time as a board member to several companies) I don't know if he is willing to fight for anything. If people who claim to be in the middle walk away from fights with the right and left wing, what are we left with? Extremes. It's probably best for Bayh if he does not have the stomach for the fight but the result is no middle ground.

  4. JK - I meant that the results don't ring true. I also questioned the 10-year-old study because so much in the "health care system" has changed since the study was made. Moreover, it was hard to get to any overall conclusion or observation with the article. But....don't be defensive given my comments; I still think you do the best job of any journalist in the area shedding light and insight on important health care issues.

  5. Probably a good idea he doesn't run. I for one do not want someone who lives in VIRGINIA to be the governor. He gave it some thought, but he likes Virginia too much. What a name I cannot say on this site! The way these people think and operate amuses me.

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