The Indy Chamber will have office space at the Greater Greenwood Chamber offices to provide microlending consultation and one-on-one counseling to business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. In 2015, the Indy Chamber’s Entrepreneur Services team provided nearly 5,000 hours of free business coaching, and another 5,500 combined hours of classes and workshops aimed at small business issues.
The Indy Chamber’s offerings add to a variety of small business resources the Greater Greenwood Chamber currently provides through its partnerships with SCORE and the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA also supports the microloan program; the Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) is an SBA “intermediary” lender, adding federal capital to what is already the nation’s largest Chamber-affiliated lending initiative.
“BOI was a perfect lending partner for our microloan program, with its deep connections to the regional business community,” explained Stacey Poynter, Indiana District Director for the SBA. “Building a broader network that capitalizes on positive momentum across the metro will help put even more dollars to work and have a bigger impact in Central Indiana.”
“Our business coaching has always been available at no charge to companies throughout the nine-county region,” said Michael Huber, president & CEO of the Indy Chamber, which represents nearly 2,000 employers across the metro area. “But to make these resources truly accessible beyond Marion County, we need to be involved and visible to the businesses we aim to serve. This partnership with the Greater Greenwood Chamber is a great place to start.”
The Indy Chamber’s presence at the Greater Greenwood Chamber will help suburban employers take advantage of its microlending program, which provides modest loans (up to $50,000) to support the growth of small businesses that may not meet traditional lending standards.
“As a community of engaged business leaders, our Chamber believes in shared success,” said Christian Maslowski, president & CEO of the Greater Greenwood Chamber. “This partnership with BOI strengthens the local resources available to support the small business owners driving Greenwood’s economic growth. And it is important to the next generation of aspiring Johnson County entrepreneurs who may just need a small capital infusion to take their business from dream to reality.”
“Almost every growing company has cash flow challenges,” said Carrie Henderson, the Indy Chamber’s senior director for Entrepreneur Services. “Our coaches are able to analyze a business balance sheet and lay out realistic options – sometimes we can help clients qualify for a bank loan, or connect them with alternative financing. In other cases, microloans provide a small-but-critical infusion of capital. Despite the ‘micro’ name, they often have a major impact.”
Indy Chamber business coaches will be available via appointment to serve the needs of new clients. Potential or current business owners do not have to be a member of the Indy Chamber or the Greater Greenwood Chamber to take advantage of coaching services there; learn more about the Indy Chamber’s Entrepreneur Services at IndyChamber.com and businessownership.org. To schedule an appointment, contact our offices at 317.464.2258.
Existing business growth and new start-ups account for 80% of the Indianapolis region’s recent job creation. Earlier this week, the Indy Chamber outlined the new Accelerate Indy regional economic development strategy, which identified entrepreneurial and small business support as a strategic priority for the metro area; expansion of microlending, business coaching and other services across the metro area is expected to continue through additional collaborations and co-location agreements.