STATEHOUSE – During an announcement made at the Statehouse, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) applauded the efforts of the Small Business Caucus (SBC), co-chaired by State Representative Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte), to improve Indiana’s business climate. The organization also proclaimed their support for several legislative initiatives to address issues business owners expressed during the SBC’s statewide tour this summer.
“Small businesses account for roughly 97 percent of all employers in Indiana,” said Rep. Dermody. “Since much of our workforce comes from these businesses, hiring about 1.2 million Hoosiers according the SBA’s more recent figures, we needed to know what issues they were facing in order to create a better environment to help these businesses thrive and grow. For that reason, a bipartisan group of lawmakers joined forces and have traveled across the state to listen to issues small business owners were facing.”
This summer, the SBC hosted meetings across Indiana at over 20 locations. In each meeting, members of the SBC met with a variety of small business owners, listened to their concerns and discussed ways the government could improve Indiana’s pro-business tax climate. The SBC focused on ways the government can help businesses run more smoothly with an emphasis on reforming regulations and providing education opportunities to better equip Indiana’s workforce.
“Every governor and legislator in every state claims to care about small business, but here in Indiana, they’ve made it a formal priority,” said NFIB State Director Barbara Quandt. “The Small Business Caucus gives Indiana a competitive edge and should be a model for the rest of the country.”
One bill, stemming from the SBC meetings and highlighted by the NFIB, is HB 1332. Co-authored by Rep. Dermody, HB 1332 aims to boost Hoosier entrepreneurship by taking several entrepreneurship initiatives and organizations and combines them into a single office, known as the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Additionally, HB 1332 extends the Young Entrepreneurs Program, which develops and supports young entrepreneurs, for two additional years.
The bill unanimously passed out of both the House and Senate.