INDIANAPOLIS — A bipartisan group of Indiana lawmakers formed to address the needs of small businesses will conduct a series of town halls across the state in August and September to give them a chance to meet with business owners and discuss what government can do to help their operations grow. The caucus will meet in Washington on Sept. 11.
The Indiana General Assembly’s Small Business Caucus was formed earlier this year by legislators interested in ways to improve the climate for the types of businesses that represent more than 97 percent of all employers in the state, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). A small business is defined as one with fewer than 500 employees.
Co-chairs of the caucus are State Reps. Terri J. Austin (D-Anderson) and Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) and State Sens. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury). Initial meetings of the group have drawn support from senators and representatives on both sides of the aisle.
“Establishing a small business caucus has been long overdue and vitally important,” Austin said. “It sends a message that we understand their needs are different from those traditionally associated with economic development in our state, and that a fresh approach is required. One of the ways we can help is by sitting down with small business owners across Indiana and work to see what we can do to build a better environment for them to grow and thrive.”
According to the most recent SBA figures, small businesses employed 1.2 million Hoosiers, with the most employment coming from firms with 20 to 499 employees.
Yoder added, “We know small businesses are vital to Indiana’s economy and provide the most jobs to working Hoosiers. In the Legislature, we continue to create and support initiatives that ensure Indiana remains a leader in job creation, economic development, and low business regulations. I look forward to listening and speaking with small business owners so they can help guide us in pro-small business legislation.”