by Scott W. Miller
President, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce
In the business world, as in life, there is always an opportunity for improvement. If we aren't focused on improving then we aren't truly living.
The recent news of Indianapolis gradually climbing the rankings of The Business Journal's list of best Midwestern markets for small business is encouraging. The ranking, out last month, lists Indianapolis at number six, behind St. Louis, Columbus, Des Moines, Omaha and the Minneapolis-St. Paul market. Not only did Indianapolis improve from the previously ranked number seven slot, but we are also listed ahead of Kansas City, Chicago, and Grand Rapids. We are making great strides.
The formula used to create the standings was a six-part formula that assessed the ability of small businesses to prosper in 19 major Midwestern markets. A small business was defined as any private-sector employer with fewer than 100 employees. The study looked at elements like five-year population growth, five- and one- year private sector employment growth, concentration of small businesses per 1,000 residents, one-year change in that concentration, and one-year growth in the number of small businesses.
As we all know, when it comes to NCAA college football, high preseason football rankings can be a prelude to a great season- or a great collapse. There is often an inherent curse that comes when a team garners the number one slot. So, I would argue that, for now, Indianapolis is right where it needs to be. We're not number one, but we're climbing the rankings. And we're performing exceptionally well, outperforming many of our neighboring states. Our region is one of the top regions in the Midwest for small business. It's no small feat, and we aren't here by accident.