INDIANAPOLIS -- State Rep. Nancy Michael (D-Greencastle) convinced the Indiana House Small Business and Economic Development Committee of the need for a state office that would work exclusively for the advancement of small businesses in Indiana's local communities.
The committee voted unanimously in favor of House Bill 1697, a measure authored by Michael that would require the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to establish the Office of Small Business Advancement. The office would serve as a resource for small, entrepreneurial businesses that are looking for ways to cut costs and remain fiscally solvent during tough economic times. Small businesses could also use the office to determine if they are eligible for state or federal assistance programs.
The office would be specifically designed to assist offices that employ between 2-100 workers. Michael said that in small rural districts like hers, these businesses become the backbone of their communities.
"Small businesses play a critical role in the economic vitality of our state. These are the businesses that support our children's soccer teams, donate to charities and embrace a sense of civic responsibility," Michael said.
"At a time when our state's unemployment rate has hit 8.2 percent, we must be proactive in job creation and retention. Advancing the interest of Indiana's small businesses will help to achieve that goal," the lawmaker continued. "This bill sends a signal that we are preparing the state's small businesses to weather tough economic times."
House Bill 1697 will now proceed to the House floor for consideration.