Category: News

Annual Radius Indiana economic development course returns to French Lick Resort

BEDFORD, Ind. (June 17, 2021) — The annual Radius Indiana economic development course at French Lick Resort concluded last Friday, graduating 44 community leaders from 15 Indiana counties. 

Participants in the Radius Indiana Economic Development for Community Leadership Program attended educational sessions on topics related to local economic development, networked with other community leaders, and built skills in strategic planning and community problem-solving.

“After conducting all of our events virtually for the last 15 months, it was special to get to host this course again and see so many new and familiar faces,” said Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle. “This year’s program exceeded my expectations with a record number of participants and I continue to be blown away by how motivated and dedicated our local leaders are to continue furthering their economic development education.”

The program is the only course of its kind to be offered in the southwestern-Indiana area. Since the first course in 2017, nearly 140 people representing 25 Indiana counties have gathered to learn from national and regional speakers about topics and skills including real estate development, business attraction, workforce, marketing, business finance and incentives, and entrepreneurship.

This year’s course’s registrants included mayors, city, town and county representatives, engineering consultants, economic development professionals, utility representatives, and marketing specialists.

Now more than ever it is vital for community leaders to support the economic development initiatives in our region,” said Cindy Barber, an educator from the Purdue Extension Community Development who participated in this year’s course. “Through this program, Radius elevates the most important elements needed for economic prosperity by introducing the major players in Indiana to leaders & elected officials.

Course speaker Brittany Mann, vice president of incentives and location advisors at Bradley Company, joined two panels during the course to discuss site selection and marketing in economic development.

“I really enjoyed this year’s conference and the opportunity to share best practices from my own client site selection experiences,” said Mann. “Radius Indiana is helping leaders in their community put their best foot forward by sending them off better educated on what economic development is and how to best plug into the ecosystem by offering continual trainings through its annual economic development conference.”

Other sessions and speakers included representatives from economic development groups and consultants including Regional Opportunity Initiatives, local universities and university-led groups, state-run organizations, and finance companies.

Corporate sponsors and scholarships helped fund the program, including generous support from Hoosier Energy, Smithville Fiber, Duke Energy, and Indiana Municipal Power Agency.

Those interested in attending a Radius Indiana course in the future should contact the Radius office at 812-277-9778.

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ABOUT RADIUS INDIANA: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

Indiana Farm Bureau Partners with GEO Partners, LLC; Forms Indiana Broadband Strategic Partnership

(Indianapolis) – May 26, 2021 – Indiana Farm Bureau today announced the formation of the Indiana Broadband Strategic Partnership (IBSP) to help bring reliable broadband to the most unserved and underserved communities across the state. To help with this initiative, the IBSP also includes Cook Medical Group, Duke Energy Foundation, Indiana Association of Realtors, Radius Indiana and the Regional Opportunity Initiative.

This partnership will promote the Indiana Speed Test, a crowd-sourced internet speed test created by GEO Partners, LLC, a Minnesota-based company that focuses on enabling cost effective planning and deployment of broadband. GEO Partners, LLC is working with other states including Minnesota, Washington, Maine, Kentucky, and Nebraska, as well as the nationally designated Delta Regional Authority that covers parts of eight states along the Mississippi River, to gather broadband data.

“Since access to reliable broadband is one of the most important challenges facing rural communities today, Indiana Farm Bureau sought organizations that advocate on behalf of rural Indiana to begin finding and developing solutions,” said Randy Kron, INFB president. “Data is a critical piece to help local broadband groups and the state of Indiana invest where service is needed and to avoid overbuilding infrastructure. With their groundbreaking work in other states, GEO Partners is a perfect fit.”

Beginning today, the Indiana Speed Test will be available on the INFB website – www.infb.org/speedtest, along with the websites of the initial partners and a growing list of collaborating organizations, including the Purdue Center for Regional Development, Association of Indiana Counties, Indiana Association of Regional Councils, Indiana Hospital Association and Indiana Broadband housed within the Office of Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch.

GEO Partners provides real-time internet speed data by collecting speed test information from residents. Displayed on geographic information system (GIS) layers, the data pinpoints areas that are most in need of reliable, affordable access to broadband service.

The goal for the Indiana Speed Test is to gather data in all areas of Indiana. The GEO Partnerssoftware platform and  the data will be available to local governments and organized broadband groups to analyze potential solutions and aid their applications for Indiana’s Next Level Connections Grants and a variety of federal grants. It is also hoped that the Indiana Speed Test data will jumpstart efforts to plan broadband infrastructure investments from the local portions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, so that decision-makers make investments with the greatest impact.

The speed test may be performed multiple times on any device that has an internet or cellular connection. The test takes less than one minute to complete, and no personal information will be collected.

“All Hoosiers are encouraged to participate in the Indiana Speed Test, the more locations, the more data points we’ll be able to map to highlight what connections are available and speeds Hoosiers are getting at those locations,” Kron added. “We are confident that GEO Partners will help all broadband stakeholders in Indiana by mapping actual internet speeds and identifying the most efficient methods to invest in broadband infrastructure.”

The COVID pandemic put a spotlight on the lack of adequate broadband in Indiana, especially in rural areas. The IBSP’s goal is to encourage data-driven investment decisions that substantially impact lives and our economic opportunity. Take the test today: www.infb.org/speedtest.

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About Indiana Farm Bureau: For more than 100 years, Indiana Farm Bureau (INFB) has promoted agriculture in Indiana through public education, member engagement, and by advocating for agricultural and rural needs. As the state’s largest general farm organization, INFB works diligently to ensure a farmer’s right to farm—protecting the livelihood, land, equipment, animals and crops of Hoosier farmers—because agriculture is vital to Indiana’s economy. Learn more at INFB.org

SouthernIndianaBusinessReport.com ready to tell region’s stories

PAOLI — Southern Indiana businesses and communities will gain an informative news and data resource when a business news-dedicated website, SouthernIndianaBusinessReport.com, goes live in June. The digital news site promises to bring an in-depth level of coverage of business and economic development, including tourism and gaming news, agribusiness updates, and insights into how local education initiatives, state policies and other factors impact the local economy. Additionally, SouthernIndianaBusinessReport.com will provide commentary from
respected Indiana economists and other experts.

The new venture is led by veteran southern Indiana journalist Miles Flynn. With several years in the radio industry in Bedford and Orange County, as well as an additional 14 years in regional print journalism, Flynn has served as managing editor at Orange County Publishing and also in the same role at the Times-Mail in Bedford.

SouthernIndianaBusinessReport.com will focus primarily on Lawrence, Greene, Daviess, Dubois, Martin, Orange, Crawford and Washington counties, which are home to nearly a quarter of a million people and a wide array of businesses.

“I’m so eager to help tell the stories of a region that’s really quite unique,” Flynn said. “In addition to factories that support the automotive industry and manufacture everything from cement to fine furniture, this region also produces architectural limestone that’s renowned around the globe, and it’s home to the third-largest naval installation in the world. Plus, these counties also boast some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the state, a historic grand resort with a casino that serves as a tourism engine for the surrounding area, one of the most
popular state parks in Indiana, a U.S. National Landmark cave, and an 8,800-acre lake that draws more than half a million visitors per year. We’ll definitely have plenty to write about!”

Flynn credits Radius Indiana President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Quyle as the source of the spark that led to the creation of SouthernIndianaBusinessReport.com. Quyle has long sought more exposure for the region and came to Flynn for input on the idea of an online business journal, which Radius would help support.

“Our Radius region and communities are supporting some truly vigorous business and economic activities currently,” Quyle mentioned. “Yet the changing face of the media industry has left us as a ‘media desert’ without reporting or coverage. It’s important to the ongoing momentum of our businesses and institutions that there be ways to communicate the dynamic forces that are present.”

Flynn suggests that story pitch ideas be sent to news@SouthernIndianaBusinessReport.com. “We welcome grassroots sources of information to help introduce us to the stories that are waiting to be told,” he said.

Radius Indiana secures $27,000 Grant for electric vehicle charging stations in Dubois Co.

BEDFORD, Ind. (April 22, 2021) — Two new public charging stations in Jasper and one in Huntingburg will add Dubois County to the map of destinations for electric vehicle drivers. 

Radius Indiana pursued a grant on behalf of the City of Jasper from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for $27,000 to install two electric charging stations for vehicle owners in Jasper, with two additional locations in Huntingburg and neighboring Petersburg.

“Our region has untold numbers of restaurants and shops and attractions in our cities and towns,” said Blaine Parker, Radius’s Director of Tourism and Quality of Place. “We realized that with the growing number of people who drive electric vehicles, we needed to help install the charging stations that would bring our communities and attractions into an easy driving range for EV drivers. When these are installed, drivers can recharge their car batteries while they eat lunch, shop, visit the local galleries, and enjoy relaxing visits in our beautiful scenery. Our slogan is ‘Discover Southern Indiana’ and that’s what we want the EV crowd to enjoy!” 

IDEM’s grant is funded by the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust and will help fund the installation of the Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations.

In October 2017, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order establishing the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund. The order outlines Indiana’s plan to distribute the state’s $40.9 million portion of a legal settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Volkswagen Corporation for its violation of the federal Clean Air Act. 

The Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Program continues to offer grant opportunities for clean air projects that will significantly reduce diesel emissions across Indiana. This statewide program is supported by Indiana’s portion of the national Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund and is focused on equipment and vehicle repowers and replacements with newer, cleaner alternatives of various fuel types. 

Coordination for the charging stations began this month and installation will follow. The project will be completed by the end of 2022.

“We appreciate the economic opportunity this grant provides our community by continuing the expansion of EV charging stations,” said Mayor of Jasper Dean Vonderheide. “Our utility crews will be installing these stations in strategically selected locations. We strive to be a community in step with the growing demand from our residents and visitors to the area. The stations will serve residents, industry partners, tourists enjoying the plethora of attractions in the immediate area, and the families engaged in the many sports and recreational activities we host. Thank you to Radius for providing this opportunity.”

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About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

Entrepreneurs, inventors and start-ups invited to participate in second royalty-free pitch competition

BEDFORD, Ind. (April 8, 2021) – Entrepreneurs, inventors and start-ups can pitch innovative proposals to southwestern Indiana defense and economic development industry leaders on June 23 at Radius Indiana’s second annual “Crane IP Defense Innovation Pitch Competition” with royalty-free IP. 

The competition offers unprecedented, royalty-free opportunities to commercialize the patented technologies and concepts developed at Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division, Indiana’s only federal research laboratory. Individuals or teams are invited to develop an innovative proposal for one of the intellectual property areas selected for the competition.

“Our desire is that businesses and entrepreneurs will be able to make use of these technologies, which will ultimately lead to job creation and economic growth,” said Jenna Dix, technology transfer director at NSWC Crane. “The engineers and scientists at Crane create valuable technology to help the men and women who protect our nation, and we would love to see this technology be applied to increase innovation in our communities.”

The competition is hosted by Radius Indiana, in coordination with Elevate Ventures, Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division, Indiana Innovation Institute, and the Indiana Small Business Development Center. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to connect with industry leaders from these organizations, and cash prizes totaling $7,000 will be available to the top three contestants. Additional prize funds will be available for competitors with locations in the Radius region of southern Indiana. 

“Radius continues to make important investments in small business and entrepreneurship,” said Keeley Stingel, vice president of innovation and economic development at Radius Indiana. “The continuation of the pitch competition and the strength of the relationships between our partners positions our region and defense ecosystem to attract top talent and emerging technologies.”

Virtual informational sessions given by NSWC Crane’s Technology Transfer program on April 29 and May 11 are available for participants in advance of the competition. The sessions will provide an overview of available technologies and highlight opportunities for engaging with Crane, and include an introduction to Crane’s IP portfolio. Participants can also receive individual coaching sessions through the resources of Elevate Ventures and ISBDC. 

“Pitch competitions give entrepreneurs valuable feedback, new connections, and increased confidence ahead of future ventures,” said Hunter Hawley, the winner of Radius Indiana’s 2019 regional pitch competition and CEO of Blueprint Stats. “Radius delivers all three in this event, and the environment is fun, supportive and competitive.”

The competition is free for participants. Entrants will receive a template to create a slide presentation for the competition. 

The registration deadline is June 1, 2021. Visit www.radiusindiana.com to learn more and register for the competition. 

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About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

About NSWC Crane: NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s Warfighter.

About Elevate Ventures: Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-growth businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit elevateventures.com.

About Indiana Innovation Institute: IN3 (Indiana Innovation Institute) works with academia, industry, and government to create a hub of national security innovation that helps solve critical defense priorities. IN3 connects regional, state, and national partners through a variety of means including convening research and business teams to solve emerging technical challenges for the Department of Defense. IN3 is focused on hypersonics, cyber-physical systems, trusted microelectronics, artificial intelligence and 5G. Learn more at www.in3indiana.com and follow us on Twitter @IN3indiana and LinkedIn.

About Indiana Small Business Development Center: The Indiana SBDC creates a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses by providing entrepreneurs expert guidance and a comprehensive network of resources. To learn more about you can access free resources through the ISBDC network, visit us at www.isbdc.org

Radius region sustains economic recovery throughout COVID-19 pandemic

BEDFORD, Ind. (March 23, 2021) –– Many community members are surprised to observe that economic growth has continued to take place over the course of the COVID-19 era, including in the Radius Indiana region — growth that was aided in part by investments made by the Radius organization. 

Radius has invested over $4.4 million in its eight counties to support infrastructure, quality of place, and overall economic development improvements since 2016. Radius’s Regional Impact Fund, the state’s only deal-closing fund that supports area growth and expansion efforts, served as an additional incentive to make several regional projects possible. 

“Radius aims to take a truly regional approach by investing in local businesses, infrastructure projects, and quality of place throughout our eight counties,” Radius President and CEO Jeff Quyle said. “We’re proud of the resiliency our communities and businesses have shown over the past year. This sustained growth demonstrates the potential our region has for economic success, especially when the pandemic is over.” 

In December 2020, Indiana’s unemployment was 4.3 percent, the lowest unemployment rate of any of the state’s immediate neighbors. The average unemployment rate for the eight Radius counties was 3 percent. The impact of the pandemic struck the Radius counties unevenly. Defense and manufacturing-dense counties saw a very slight increase in unemployment over the course of the year, while counties with tourism-dependent economies suffered more significant job losses. 

Yet by the end of 2020, the region’s resilience was evident: the regional unemployment rate in December 2020 was only 3.4 percent, below the state unemployment rate of 4.3 percent and the national rate of 6.7 percent.

Additionally, many regional employers expect to add workers over the next 12 months, according to Radius Indiana’s second regional survey of wages and benefits in southwestern Indiana. The survey also found that 77 percent of employers are planning pay raises in the next 12 months. 

Radius Indiana’s recent investments in infrastructure, economic development, and quality of place include: 

  • Sewer extensions;
  • Improvements at local airports;
  • Building refurbishments;
  • Water retention and detention improvements;
  • Workforce training for defense industry contractors; and
  • Downtown developments.

“Radius’s continued support of Washington County and our neighbors have played a crucial role in sustaining our economies,” said Justin Green, who represents Washington County on the Radius board. “Their investment, specifically in infrastructure and economic development throughout the region, has created jobs and opportunities that have prevented larger unemployment rates.” 

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About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

 

Economic and community development, financial experts discuss housing strategies at Crawford County virtual summit

LEAVENWORTH, Ind. (March 17, 2021) — Local leaders from the economic and community development fields and financial experts shared strategies for improving area housing at the Crawford County Economic Development Corporation’s (CCEDC) first-ever housing summit on March 17. 

“As we look at the overall conditions in our community, we want to face the challenges with honest and open dialogue and information with great data from our studies,” Michael Thissen, executive director of CCEDC, said. “We’re grateful for the leaders who spoke at the summit who are committed to Crawford County and our region’s prosperity.” 

The virtual summit was part of Crawford County’s initiative to improve local infrastructure. Over 40 community members attended the event, which was sponsored by First Savings Bank. The webinar explored the current state of the rural housing market and analyzed the components needed to build housing capacity, including quality of place, transportation, and addressing rental disparity. 

Tina Peterson, president and CEO of Regional Opportunity Initiatives, presented Crawford County-related and regional results from ROI’s recent Housing Study during the summit. The study showed that Crawford County is one of the region’s most rural counties and has some of the lowest home values. 

Other speakers at the summit included: 

Topics ranged from the impact of COVID-19 on housing and regional economic development and how new housing benefits communities, to other resources for increasing residential development. 

“This housing summit offered a good opportunity for a wide variety of Crawford County residents to become involved in making decisions about meeting future housing needs,” Quyle said. “The Crawford County Economic Development Corporation brought in some very informative speakers, and they were very transparent and inclusive in their work to share this start of a process to work on the housing needs of the county.”

CCEDC is looking for individuals to join its first-ever housing task force to advance housing initiatives in the county. Those interested should contact CCEDC at info@selectcrawfordcounty.com. Formal invitations will be sent on March 31.

Watch a full recording of the webinar

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About CCEDC: The Crawford County Economic Development Corporation serves Crawford County, Indiana, for business, entrepreneurship, and workforce growth and builds capacity for quality of place. Its mission is to grow a prosperous Crawford County, together. 

 

Registration Now Open for Fourth Annual Radius Indiana Economic Development Conference

BEDFORD, Ind. (March 17, 2021) – Radius Indiana announced today that registration is now open for its fourth annual regional economic development conference for community leaders.

Attendees at the two-and-a-half-day Radius Indiana Economic Development for Community Leadership Program will participate in educational sessions on relevant topics, including quality of place, strategic planning, site development, and business finance and incentives. The course, which will take place June 9-11 at the French Lick Resort, will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Orange County guidelines for social distancing to keep all attendees safe. 

“After a year of virtual meetings and conference calls, we are excited to get back to face-to-face economic development education,” Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius Indiana, said. “Radius continued to grow its economic development education opportunities in 2020, and our team looks forward to sharing these opportunities with our community leaders. And because we’re seeing an increase in the number of leads, and signs of strong economic growth, it’s timely and relevant for our local leaders to become well-versed in how to support local economic development.”

Speakers from state agencies, site selection companies, secondary education institutions, and financial firms will share best practices and offer perspectives on local and regional economic strategies. Topics are focused on the day-to-day functions of economic development and are designed to help leaders keep the needs of economic development at the forefront of their efforts as they return to their daily responsibilities. Confirmed speakers and subjects for the course will include:

  • Jim Plump – Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation, Introduction to Economic Development;
  • Carol Rogers – Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Data Profile for Your Community;
  • Olga PogodaKRNLS, Coworking Spaces and Maker Spaces;
  • Matt Eckerle – Baker-Tilly, Business Finance and Incentives;
  • Wendy Dant Chesser – One Southern Indiana, Strategic Planning;
  • Michael Wilcox – Purdue Center for Regional Development, Quality of Place;
  • Chelsey Manns – Manns Consulting, Real Estate Development; and
  • Christian Blome, Vincennes University Jasper Campus, and Michi McClain, Regional Opportunity Initiatives – Workforce Development.

Radius plans to make several scholarships available from its own office as well as area utilities for community members from the region who would like to participate in the program. Local Economic Development Organizations and those interested in attending are encouraged to contact the Radius Indiana office to learn more about scholarship opportunities in their area.

Registration for the Radius Indiana Economic Development for Community Leadership Program is now available at www.Radiusindiana.com or by calling 812-277-9778. Registration for leaders in the Radius eight-county region is $425, and $475 for those who live outside the region. The registration page includes a link and promotional code to book a hotel room at the French Lick Resort for the conference days.

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ABOUT RADIUS INDIANA: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

 

Radius Indiana introduces small-scale manufacturing program to the region

BEDFORD, Ind. (March 15, 2021) — Radius Indiana and South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center will introduce a program focused on bringing small-scale manufacturing to downtown areas in the Radius region.

Recast City is a national economic development program aimed at building strong local economies and creating new opportunities for community members. The Town of Orleans, Town of Odon, City of Washington, City of Salem, and City of Loogootee will participate in a 12-month Recast City cohort beginning March 16 to learn about downtown revitalization. 

“The Town of Orleans has a beautiful Town Square with several buildings that are empty, and with the Recast programs’ leadership, we hope to find a suitable match with a potential small manufacturing client,” said James Clark, president of the Orleans Town Council. “We look forward to seeing the opportunities and growth Recast City brings to the community.”

The program is made available through cost sharing between Radius and Indiana SBDC. The Indiana SBDC funding is made possible by the Small Business Administration and comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which provides financial relief to small businesses affected by the impacts of COVID-19. 

In small-scale manufacturing, a community of businesses works together to produce tangible products that may be sold to customers. The program is aligned to assets in each community, which can support enterprises from a microbrewery, to coffee roastery, to candle making. The program will impact a minimum of four enterprises as the communities implement their strategy to have a small-scale manufacturer in their downtown areas.

According to the SBA, over 99 percent of businesses in Indiana are considered small businesses, and 1.2 million jobs are supported by small businesses.

The Radius region is home to over 6,000 small businesses, approximately 80 percent of all businesses in the eight counties. Small businesses employ over 35,000 workers, accounting for 40 percent of the region’s jobs.

“The Recast City program demonstrates the resiliency that exists within each of the communities in the Radius region,” said Keeley Stingel, vice president of talent attraction and retention for Radius Indiana. “Rural communities are often left out of economic recoveries, and this program is a ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ approach that shows that when we all work together, economic prosperity is possible. We’re excited to see the resulting business enterprises in downtowns throughout the region.”

To learn more about Recast City, visit www.recastcity.com.

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About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

More than 140 companies in Radius region eligible for newest economic revitalization opportunity

BEDFORD, Ind. (March 10, 2021) — Approximately one out of every six ‘Stage 2’ business establishments in the Radius region are potential candidates for Radius Indiana’s newest community and economic enhancement effort.

The recently introduced effort is Radius’s first economic gardening program, which embraces the fundamental idea that entrepreneurs drive economies by creating and supporting communities’ existing companies. It is part of Radius’s larger community development initiative, which includes the Quality of Place guidebooks released in 2020, the upcoming Recast City program, and the Intermediary Relending Program.

“Economic gardening gives local companies the strategic information and resources they need to increase job growth and develop their workforces,” Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius Indiana, said. “We believe that giving our people and businesses this extra support to accelerate their growth will contribute to long-term economic development and increase the quality of life in our communities.”

The program focuses on supporting local companies that fit the ‘Stage 2’ criteria for economic gardening. Out of approximately 5,000 established businesses in the Radius region, over 840 companies meet the selection definition; Radius further targeted specific criteria to identify 142 businesses that appear to be appropriate initial targets for economic gardening. These qualifications for entrance into the program include:

  1. For-profit, privately held company;
  2. Non-metropolitan;
  3. Employ 10-99 people;
  4. Generate annual revenues of $750,000 to $50 million;
  5. Maintain its principal place of business in Indiana for at least the previous two years; and
  6. A commitment to innovation.

Radius has partnered with the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) and local economic development organizations in the region to carry out the program. Currently, companies in Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, and Orange Counties are participating.

“Purdue’s economic gardening program has helped us gain insight into a couple of markets that we are looking to enter,” said Alex Barnes, president of WF Meyers, an Indiana-based supplier of stone-cutting tools that participated in the program. “This has helped us gain a better view of the competitive landscape and has given us a lot of things to consider. We also have some more immediate steps we can take by improving our online presence.”

The initiative provides 35 hours of strategic business consulting, including search engine optimization research and other relevant data. PCRD received funding from the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist Indiana-based companies as they navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Primary growth in communities comes from existing businesses,” said Shance Sizemore, CEO of the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council. “Economic gardening is another tool for us to use to grow business retention and expansion in our counties. There is a great opportunity to help existing companies take the next steps to be successful.”

Interested companies should contact their local economic development organization to learn more about economic gardening.

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About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.