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Indianapolis Region to Launch Combined Chamber and Economic Development Organization

Posted by aprile on May 17, 2013

Merger of Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Develop Indy, Indy Partnership, and Business Ownership Initiative provides a unified effort for economic development and business growth in the Indianapolis region

INDIANAPOLIS (May 17, 2012) – Mayor Greg Ballard and the leaders of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Develop Indy, Indy Partnership, and Business Ownership Initiative have approved a merger of the four organizations, creating a single entity charged with increasing economic development and business growth in the Indianapolis region.

"Aligning the strategic resources of these organizations with those of the Chamber will better position our efforts to attract new jobs and grow existing companies," said Mayor Ballard. "The organizations' shared goals of economic vitality and success for Indianapolis will only strengthen as we move forward in building a better future for our Hoosier workforce."

The Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce serves as a voice of progress and improvement in the region, uniting business and community to improve the quality of life for residents. With a membership of nearly 3,000 businesses representing 235,000 employees in Central Indiana, the Indy Chamber is one of the largest regional chambers of commerce in the country. Develop Indy, the local economic development organization for Marion County, focuses on the growth and retention of jobs throughout Indianapolis. Develop Indy works closely with the City on various issues impacting job growth and investment. Indy Partnership is the region's economic development and marketing organization, and serves as the authoritative source for data and resources in the nine-county Indianapolis region. Indy Partnership became part of Develop Indy in 2011 and as a result of final approval today, became a separate division of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana (BOI) aligned with Develop Indy in fall 2011. Business Ownership Initiative helps individuals start or grow their own businesses by providing knowledge, skills and access to financial resources.

"Strategically aligning the Chamber's economic development efforts with those of Business Ownership Initiative, Indy Partnership, and Develop Indy is critical to our success as a city and a region," said Scott Miller, president of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. "We are confident the synergies between our organizations will result in a stronger, more competitive Indianapolis region by providing a unified vision and mission and a single point of contact."

Doug Esamann, president of Duke Energy Indiana, who is currently leading the efforts to restructure the Indy Partnership added, "Indy Partnership has played a vital role in promoting the Indianapolis region over the last decade. Merging our efforts with those of the Chamber will enable us to have an even broader impact as we show the rest of the country—and the world—why the greater Indianapolis region is a great place to do business."

The transition process is already underway among Chamber, Indy Partnership, Business Ownership Initiative, and Develop Indy staff. Final merger efforts are expected to be completed this fall.

The merger of a region's chamber and economic development organizations into a combined organization is a trend nationwide. Cities of comparable size such as Denver, Louisville, Nashville and Houston have combined organizations and report positive results.

About Indy Partnership

Indy Partnership is the authoritative source for data and resources in the 9-county Indianapolis region, representing its local economic development organizations to provide a coordinated, seamless response to companies seeking a new home. Indy Partnership is led by Troy Whittington, executive director. For more information, visit www.indypartnership.com.

About Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana

The mission of Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana (BOI) and its Central Indiana Women's Business Center program is to help men and women start or grow their own businesses by providing knowledge, skills and access to financial resources. Central Indiana Women's Business Center program is widely recognized by small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the 9- county Central Indiana region. The Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana is led by Julie Grice, executive director. For more information, visit www.businessownership.org.

About Develop Indy

Develop Indy is Marion County's local economic development organization. Develop Indy is dedicated to attracting new businesses, retaining and expanding existing businesses and serving as a catalyst for capital investment and quality job growth in Indianapolis/Marion County. Formed in 2007, Develop Indy is led by Melissa Todd, interim president. For more information about Develop Indy, visit www.developindy.com.

About the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce is the voice of progress and improvement for the Central Indiana business community. With membership of nearly 3,000 businesses representing 235,000 employees in Central Indiana, the Indy Chamber is leading the effort to strengthen the business climate, improve the state of education, revitalize neighborhoods and enhance the region's workforce. Formed in 1890, the Chamber is currently led by Scott Miller, president. For more information about the Indy Chamber, visit www.indychamber.com.