Small Business

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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PROFILE: Lumasis.com: Finding its niche Focus on small business pays off for Web design firmRestricted Content

September 17, 2007
Della Pacheco
Lumasis.comFinding its niche Focus on small business pays off for Web design firm When Zionsville native Jamie Brown graduated from Purdue in 1995, most consumers were still in the dark about the possibilities the Internet could offer. Having been immersed in the Web while studying electrical engineering technology at Purdue, Brown linked up with a local Internet provider and started his first company, Computer Specialists. In 1997, the business morphed into Lumasis, a full-service Web site design and hosting company...
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BRIAN WILLIAMS: Indiana needs to get energy-wiseRestricted Content

September 10, 2007
As the 14th-mostpopulous state in the union, Indiana generates a gross state product that is 16th-largest of the 50 states. Unfortunately, despite significant investments in equipment and processes by manufacturers and public-policy efforts to encourage the attraction and growth of knowledgeand technology-focused industries, our economy remains energy-inefficient. In 2003, Indiana was the country's sixthlargest consumer of energy per capita, according to the Indiana Energy Report. Ninety-seven percent of Indiana's electricity is generated by coal. Indiana is the fifthlargest emitter of...
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MICKEY MAURER: No gala, but a glorious grand openingRestricted Content

September 10, 2007
In 2006, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. closed almost 200 transactions. Many recipients of the IEDC largess marked the opening of their job-creation activities with hightech galas featuring products rolling down gangways accompanied by the applause of dignitaries and well-wishers. Recognizing that attendance at these ceremonies was not an efficient use of time, the IEDC adopted the mantra, "We don't cut ribbons, we just cut deals." With rare exception, ribbon-cutting was left to the politicians. Last month, I participated in...
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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

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