While the Indy Chamber’s economic development team works to attract new opportunities to the region, its Entrepreneur Services division – including BOI – focuses on the success of existing companies to drive employment and investment: More than 80% of all metro job creation comes from these enterprises, especially smaller firms – eight of every ten Indy businesses have less than 20 employees.
BOI provides one-on-one business coaching, organizes educational opportunities and administers the nation’s largest Chamber-affiliated microloan initiative; this SBA-backed effort provides small loans (typically in the low five-figures) to growing employers that may not meet traditional lending standards.
“The Pulliam Charitable Trust’s generous support of business coaching is absolutely critical,” said Carrie Henderson, President of BOI. “Our coaches work one-on-one with hundreds of entrepreneurs every year, helping with everything from business planning to cash flow management to connecting them with other resources, including our microlending program.”
The Indy Chamber is working to make these services readily available across the region, assigning business coaches to strategic locations from emerging urban neighborhoods – like River West, near IUPUI and the 16 Tech innovation district – to growing suburbs through partnerships with the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, OneZone (in Carmel and Fishers), and more to come.
“As an SBA lending partner, we can deploy more microlending capital in the nine-county region,” Henderson explained. “Business coaching capacity is our urgent need: Knowledge is power, and expert coaching empowers small employers and entrepreneurs to take their business to the next level. The Pulliam Trust grant will support hundreds of hours of additional coaching time and access to resources for these companies.”
During her career, Nina Mason Pulliam shared her financial success and business leadership skills with many charities and civic endeavors as she and her husband, Eugene C. Pulliam, grew Central Newspapers Inc. into a successful, widely influential publishing enterprise. The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust continues to support the values and causes she embraced throughout her life, focusing on initiatives in metropolitan Indianapolis and Phoenix Arizona.
Over the last year, the Indy Chamber’s Entrepreneur Services division has provided more than 10,000 hours of coaching and classes. By increasing its grant support from $60,000 in 2015 to $100,000 this year, the Pulliam Charitable Trust is helping BOI meet growing demand for these resources from the metro business community.
“We’re proud to earn the continued support of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust,” said Michael Huber, President and CEO of the Indy Chamber. “We’ve been urging Indianapolis to ‘shop local’ for Small Business Saturday – the Pulliam Trust is ‘investing local,’ helping us support the homegrown businesses that are the backbone of our regional economy. “