Indiana Launches New Export Assistance Program, Increasing Resources for Small Businesses

INDIANAPOLIS – Today, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) launched the Indiana State Trade and Export Promotion (IN-STEP) program to develop and expand export opportunities throughout the state, assisting Indiana small businesses with identifying, marketing and selling Hoosier-made goods in international markets.

“To remain competitive in today’s rapidly-evolving economy, state leaders are committed to ensuring that Indiana’s businesses and its people are able to connect to global markets,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “The IN-STEP program will open up new opportunities for small businesses to elevate their goods in the international marketplace, and in turn, position their business and our state for success on the global stage.”

IN-STEP, which will support company growth and job creation by diversifying small businesses’ customer bases, offers eligible companies reimbursements of costs associated with export-related activities like participating in international trade missions, foreign trade shows and export educational programs, as well as other export services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Total reimbursements under IN-STEP cover up to 50%, or $12,500, of small businesses’ export expenses.

The program, which is launching with the support of a two-year grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), will provide up to $660,000 in funding for small businesses. Applications will be available on a rolling basis until all funds are distributed or up to August 31, 2021.

Qualifying criteria is as follows:

  • The business must be in operation for at least a year.
  • The business must be new to exporting or market expansion.
  • The business must be an Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) client.
  • The business must be in accordance with SBA size standards, which categorize small businesses based on measures like industry, number of employees and annual receipts. Use the SBA’s Size Standards Tool to see if your company qualifies.
  • The business’ goods must be made in the U.S. or composed of at least 51% U.S. material.

“IN-STEP is an incredible tool for Indiana small businesses,” said SBA Indiana District Director Stacey Poynter. “With 95% of the world’s consumers located outside of the United States, the IN-STEP program supports the American Dream of small business ownership by expanding resources available for entrepreneurs to sell their Hoosier-made products and services around the world.”

IN-STEP will support and further the current export assistance available to small businesses through the Indiana SBDC, which provides expert guidance and resources to help companies create export plans designed to drive growth and position their business in the global marketplace. Additionally, the IEDC, in conjunction with the Indiana SBDC and SBA’s Indiana District office, will host a statewide event series to promote and encourage small businesses to apply for the program.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Indiana ranks in the top 15 exporting states, with businesses shipping products and goods such as automotive parts, pharmaceuticals and agricultural commodities to global customers. To build on this momentum, and increase Indiana’s competitiveness in the global economy, the state is committed to supporting initiatives like IN-STEP to ensure its businesses and people are connected to international markets. Additionally, the Indiana Global Economic Summit will convene global thought leaders, decision makers and trailblazers in Indianapolis on April 26-28 to share best practices and advance conversations on important topics like exporting.

Click here for more information about the IN-STEP program and its eligibility criteria and application process. Contact for additional questions.

About IEDC
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit  

2019: Indiana Businesses Plan 27,000+ New Hoosier Jobs with Record-High Average Wages

INDIANAPOLIS  – Today, Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced the end of a third consecutive, record-breaking year for economic development in Indiana, with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) securing 296 commitments from companies to locate or grow in the state. Together, these businesses plan to invest more than $8.44 billion in their Indiana operations and create up to 27,137 new Hoosier jobs with average wages of $28.60/hour – marking the highest annual records for capital investment and average wages since the IEDC was established in 2005.

“I’m excited to announce yet another record-breaking year for economic development in Indiana as we work every day to ensure that Hoosiers have the best place possible to live, work and play,” Gov. Holcomb said. “As a state, we have worked tirelessly to create a nationally ranked, pro-growth business climate, and the results have solidified Indiana’s reputation as a global destination for business, creating high-quality career opportunities for Hoosiers in the process.”

These 27,137 new positions are expected to offer average wages of $28.60/hour, or nearly $59,500 annually, which is above the U.S. average wage and 21% higher than the state’s average wage of $23.01/hour (BLS, 2018). Moreover, of the 296 commitments made, 216 have committed average wages at or above the county average wage, and 56 are between 80-99% of the county average wage.

Businesses announcing the largest growth commitments, based on the number of new jobs or capital investment planned, in 2019 were:

Growth Trends: 

  • NEW TO INDIANA: The IEDC, in partnership with local communities, secured 80 commitments from businesses in 2019 to establish new operations in Indiana. Of these, 18 were new companies committing to locate startup operations in Indiana, and 62 were companies already established and headquartered elsewhere in the U.S. or around the world; together, they plan to invest $2.04 billion and create up to 9,141 new jobs in Indiana.Commitments include: Arizona Isotopes (Arizona-based, Miami County), Energizer Holdings Inc. (Missouri-based, Johnson County), Great Lakes Lamination (startup, Elkhart County), Grinds (California-based, Hamilton County), LifeNet Health (Virginia-based, Hendricks County), PerceptIn (California-based, Hamilton County), Sequel Wire and Cable Company (startup, Marshall County), Sims Bark Co. (Alabama-based, Jackson County), and Opus Packaging (Michigan-based, Boone County).
  • FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT: Indiana is home to more than 1,030 foreign-owned business establishments that together support 203,000 Hoosier jobs – a number that continues to grow. In 2019, 38 foreign-owned businesses headquartered in 17 countries and territories committed to locating or growing in Indiana. Together, these firms plan to invest $3.1 billion in Indiana and create up to 6,022 new jobs, accounting for 22% of the total new jobs committed in 2019.Commitments include: BraunAbility (Sweden, Hamilton County), Cormo USA (Switzerland, Rush County), DOT America (Germany, Whitley County), Greenleaf Foods, SPC (Canada, Shelby County), Indiana Wheel Corporation (China, Marshall County), Ingram Micro Services (China, Hendricks County), Magna Powertrain (Canada, Delaware County), Marbach America (Germany, LaPorte County), Multimatic (Canada, Allen County), OSR Inc. (Japan, Bartholomew County), Saab (Sweden, Tippecanoe County), SDI LaFarga (Spain, Allen County), Sullair (Japan, LaPorte County), and Yamaha Marine Precision Propellers (Japan, Hancock County).
  • LIFE SCIENCES: In 2019, the IEDC secured 43 commitments (+60% from 2018) from life sciences companies to locate or expand in Indiana. Together, these businesses plan to invest more than $968 million (+89% from 2018) and create up to 3,631 new jobs (+94% from 2018) in Indiana.Commitments include: Abbott (Hamilton County), Catalent (Monroe County), Expert RN|MD (Marion County), Hill-Rom Services (Ripley County), LifeNet Health (Hendricks County), Mach Medical (Whitley County), Micropulse Inc. (Whitley County), Nexxt Spine (Hamilton County), and PharmaCord (Clark County).
  • MANUFACTURING: This year, 160 manufacturers committed to investing more than $5.3 billion to grow their operations here and create up to 14,433 new Hoosier jobs with average salaries above the state’s average wage. These job commitments, which account for 61% of the total 27,137 new jobs committed in 2019, represent growth plans across a number of manufacturing sub-sectors, such as automotive and RV, steel, food and beverage, hardwoods and machinery.Commitments include: Allison Transmission (Marion County), Auto Truck Group (Allen County), Cummins Inc. (Bartholomew County), Common Collabs (Starke County), Creative Works (Morgan County), Franke Plating Works (Allen County), GCI Slingers (Boone County), (Clark County), Magna Powertrain (Delaware County), Poynter Sheet Metal (Johnson County), SDI LaFarga (Allen County), and SoChatti (Marion County).
  • TECHNOLOGY: In 2019, 44 tech and tech-enabled firms committed to growing in Indiana, planning to create up to 3,851 new jobs (accounting for nearly 15% of the total jobs committed) with average annual wages exceeding $76,000 for new positions.Commitments include: ActiveCampaign (Marion County), Accutech Systems (Delaware County), Anvl (Hamilton County), LHP Engineering Solutions (Bartholomew County), MetaCX (Marion County), and Zotec Partners (Hamilton County).
  • SMALL BUSINESS: Along with these 27,137 committed jobs, the IEDC also works to support entrepreneurs and small businesses through the Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). In 2019, the Indiana SBDC assisted in 406 new business starts and in the creation of 4,360 new jobs. Additionally, the Indiana PTAC registered 312 new clients and helped secure more than $162 million in federal government contracts that allowed businesses to grow and create 433 new jobs for Hoosiers.

IEDC incentives offered for these 296 commitments are conditional, meaning a company must create new jobs or provide workforce training in order to be eligible to receive incentives, and are based on new payroll for Hoosiers in order to protect taxpayer money while simultaneously attracting high-wage jobs and new investment to the state. The IEDC offered an average incentive of $0.21/new payroll dollar committed in 2019.

About IEDC
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit

Ambrose Breaks Ground on Four-Building Logistics Center in Mount Comfort

INDIANAPOLISAmbrose Property Group broke ground November 5, 2019 on the first of four buildings for e-commerce and logistics tenants along the Mount Comfort Corridor in Hancock County. The logistics center—located on 166-acres of land on the north side of West County Road 300N and west of North County Road 400W—totals a $78 million capital investment.

“As we continue to focus our business on industrial and e-commerce development, we are excited to be part of Mount Comfort’s visionary plan for thoughtful economic growth,” said Grant Goldman, executive vice president at Ambrose Property Group. “Strong community engagement is the foundation of every project we pursue, and we picked this land because it was earmarked for exactly this type of development. We look forward to partnering with area residents and business leaders to create a space that benefits the community.”

On Oct. 9, the Hancock County Council unanimously approved a 10-year tax abatement on all four buildings. The first building will be a 508,098-square-foot logistics center that is expandable to 660,378 square feet. The other three buildings Ambrose plans to develop will be a combination of large and smaller buildings to attract a diverse range of businesses. The plan is flexible to accommodate potential users and clients’ needs.

A report released in January from Washington D.C.-based Urban Land Institute – guided by the Mt. Comfort Corridor Regional Development Plan – identified several opportunities for optimizing growth in the corridor, including:

  • Upgrading Mount Comfort Road as a boulevard with landscaped rights-of-way, roundabouts at major intersections, high-quality lighting, consistent signage, and a trail system that provides opportunities to walk and bike.
  • Making stunning “first impressions” at town and corridor gateways with landscaping, public art and high-quality signage.
  • Focusing economic development efforts to take advantage of the area’s rural heritage and convenient location, including agri-tech, agri-tourism, animal biomedical and advanced manufacturing.

“The Mount Comfort Logistics Center is a key component of our proactive plan to prepare for the growth we know is coming to the Mt. Comfort Corridor,” said Randy Sorrell, executive director of the Hancock Economic Development Council. “We look forward to working with Ambrose to market this future-focused development to high-credit e-commerce and logistics tenants.”

Mount Comfort has experienced nearly 40% growth in the past 12 months. It has an extremely strong labor market with 276,425 households within a 25-minute commute. It is also located less than one mile from Interstate 70, a major east-west interstate highway.

The Mount Comfort Logistics Center is currently for lease through CBRE. For more information, contact or visit


Duke Energy presents site development recommendations to Hancock County economic development group

PLAINFIELD, Ind. – Duke Energy is presenting site readiness recommendations to Hancock County economic development officials for a 67-acre parcel near the intersection of State Road 67 and U.S. 36 in Fortville, Ind.

A check for $10,000 from Duke Energy has been presented to the economic development officials to help implement the recommendations.

We are grateful for the professional commitment to economic development by Hancock County Economic Development Council,” said Erin Schneider, Indiana director of economic development for Duke Energy. “We admire their tireless dedication as they strive to improve their local and regional economies, and we are honored to play our part in their efforts.”

We are certainly fortunate to have a corporate partner like Duke Energy in our community,” said Randy Sorrell, executive director of the Hancock County Economic Development Council. “Their site readiness grant program provides our community access to top-notch professionals who can guide us on how best to develop and market our commercial and industrial sites.”

Banning Engineering of Plainfield, Ind., has produced conceptual drawings, engineering recommendations and site plans for the Hancock County location.

We are proud to partner with Duke Energy on this valuable program,” said Jeff Banning, president of Banning Engineering. “We appreciate the opportunity to share our site and economic development expertise to advance communities across Indiana.”

Ideal properties for Duke Energy’s Site Readiness program are typically 40 acres or larger, serviced by the utility, or a vacant industrial building of at least 20,000 square feet identified to support renewed industrial growth and sustainable development in the community.

In 2018 in its seven-state service territory, Duke Energy helped to attract $5.3 billion in capital investment, helping create 14,000 jobs. For the 15th consecutive year, the company was named to Site Selection magazine’s annual list of Top 10 Utilities in Economic Development.

For more information about Duke Energy Indiana’s economic development programs, visit

Duke Energy Indiana

Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides about 6,600 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 840,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it Indiana’s largest electric supplier.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Hancock County recognized for economic vitality

Hancock County has received a AAA rating  from Fitch Ratings and an AA+ rating from S&P Global Ratings for its 2019 local income tax lease rental bonds.

Hancock Economic Development Council’s executive director Randy Sorrell traveled with county councilmen Jim Shelby and Bill Bolander and the county’s financial consultant, Greg Guerrettaz, to Chicago a few weeks ago to meet with representatives from the ratings agencies and discuss the county’s economic vitality.

The Fitch Rating is based on the county’s solid revenue growth prospects, ample control over expenditures, low long-term liability burden and sizable reserve cushion.

“The bond rating analysts’ glowing comments about Hancock County’s economy confirmed what we already believed to be true,” says HEDC Executive Director Randy Sorrell. “Hancock County’s economy is growing; it is strong; and it is expected to continue its upward trajectory. We are proud of all of the great things happening in Hancock County and are happy that Fitch and S & P have recognized us for it.”

Hancock County has a population of approximately 75,000 and is located east of Indianapolis, along Interstate 70. The county has experienced steady population growth of more than 65% from 1990.
Hancock Economic Development Council is proud to serve the communities of Hancock County, Indiana.
For more information, contact Executive Director Randy Sorrell at 317-477-7241 or e-mail

Awning Innovations moves to Hancock County

Awning Innovations, a Central Indiana sign manufacturer with customers across the nation, has moved into new manufacturing space east of McCordsville in Hancock County.

The 20-year-old company purchased and renovated a 123,000 square-foot building with a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loan program through Lake City Bank and Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation.

Frank Green, who co-founded the company in 1999 and is a co-owner, says Awning Innovations manufactures “from scratch” signs on a wholesale basis and sells them to retail sign companies across the nation. Panera Bread, CVS, IU Health, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, Trader Joes and Whole Foods are among locations that display signs from the company.

Awning Innovation’s 110-employee roster will grow by about 15 jobs each year as a result of the expansion. “The new building gives us a better floor plan with lower operating costs,” Green says. Taking over an old brake distribution plant required Awning Innovations to “significantly” upgrade lighting, electricity and data wiring, all of which was possible due to the loan from Lake City Bank and Indiana Statewide CDC.

Indiana Statewide CDC works with local Indiana lenders to issue SBA 504 loans to help owners of expanding or startup small businesses buy real estate, buildings and equipment. SBA 504 loans can give small business owners long-term, fixed rate financing similar to commercial loan terms available for large companies.

Lake City Bank’s Greg Lentz says the SBA 504 loan offers significant advantages for Awning Innovation’s day-to-day cash flow. “The 10 percent down payment is half the 20 percent for a conventional loan down payment,” he says. “The fixed interest rate on the SBA portion of the loan for up to 25 years is also better than conventional terms.”

Awning Innovations’ new location is just east of McCordsville at 7795 N. 200 W. It is a half-mile south of the Mount Vernon Township schools. The leased manufacturing plant it left is near 116th Street and I-69 on Exit 5 Parkway in Fishers.

Hancock Economic Development Council is proud to serve the communities of Hancock County, Indiana.
For more information, contact Executive Director Randy Sorrell at 317-477-7241 or e-mail

Yamaha Marine Precision Propellers breaks ground in Greenfield

A company that designs and builds stainless steel propellers for water craft is expanding to Greenfield.

Yamaha Marine Precision Propellers (YPPI), Inc. broke ground July 8 on a new 54,000 square foot manufacturing facility on the Barr South property in the 1600 block of West New Road.

“This is the largest expansion we have ever experienced at YPPI,” said Jonathon Burns, YPPI General Manager. “YPPI looks forward to developing our workforce with a strong pool of manufacturing talent. We’re proud to be a part of the growth in the community and we’re excited to show the people of Greenfield what YPPI has to offer through innovative technology and as an employer of choice.”

Burns told an audience of city and county officials at the groundbreaking ceremony that the company had three goals in building the new facility: keeping up with the high demand for propellers, building a facility where YPPI can use the latest manufacturing equipment and processes to increase output, and creating a better place for employees to work, where they have the best tools and facilities to do their jobs.

The company said in a news release that once the expansion is complete, YPPI will have the necessary infrastructure and workforce to increase annual propeller production from 60,000 to more than 100,000.

“Propellers are part of the integrated system that boats need today,” said Burns. “This facility will allow us to increase what we offer to our customers. It will also allow us to try new more efficient manufacturing technologies that will increase quality and reduce costs.“

YPPI also plans to add 30 new jobs, increasing its workforce to 200 employees, split between the new Greenfield facility and the Indianapolis facility. The $18.3 million investment includes 81 jobs in Greenfield. Construction is expected to be completed in mid-2020.

Earlier this year, the Greenfield City Council offered tax abatement and approved the creation of an economic revitalization area for the property.

“The key to this project is that it’s a multi-phase project whereby YPPI will substantially grow their existing production and could expand into other lines of production within Yamaha Marine as well,” said Randy Sorrell, executive director of Hancock County Economic Development Council.

Hancock Economic Development Council is proud to serve the communities of Hancock County, Indiana.
For more information, contact Executive Director Randy Sorrell at 317-477-7241 or e-mail

Groundbreaking held in Hancock County for Spectra Premium’s new distribution facility


Hancock Economic Development Council congratulates Spectra Premium on the groundbreaking for their new distribution facility, held Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

Philip Fallis, Spectra Premium Director of Corporate Distribution for North America.

“Spectra has had a presence here in Hancock County since 1995,” said Phillip Fallis, director of corporate distribution for North America, “with our location in Knightstown adding  the current location in 2013. Now, we are here in 2019 looking to future growth, in a new distribution facility. It is only possible  because of our family of associates who create the environment to succeed.”

Fallis said Indiana and Hancock County are global logistics leaders and offer Spectra Premium a strong competitive advantage when it comes to reaching North American and world markets.

“As the “Crossroads of America,” Indiana ranks in the top 10 amongst 46 significant logistics-related  categories across the U.S. Indiana is a national leader in pass-through interstates and truck tonnage,  experiencing more interstate commerce than any other state. Indiana is home to the 2nd largest FedEx air hub worldwide and is 3rd in total freight railroads. Our state is first nationally with 14 pass-through interstates. Indiana’s highways consist of 1,266 miles,  which connect 82 million people within a 500-mile radius of the state’s border. Indiana’s excellent highway network is accessible to 80% of the population of both the United States and Canada within 24 hours. This makes Indiana the first choice for business.”

Read more from the Greenfield Daily Reporter here.