A message from President and CEO, Tara Barney

Small Business Is Big Business in the Evansville region

Tara Barney, President & CEO, Southwest Indiana Chamber

In fact, small business is the backbone of our Tri-state economy. So, while you generally see major corporations in the headlines and on social media, this month, the Southwest Indiana Chamber and our partners nationwide will tell the stories of small businesses. In Southwest Indiana, 99.7% of businesses have fewer than 100 employees. The Small Business Administration (SBA) says these firms have the largest share of business employment in the state. However, if these businesses are unable to find the assistance they need to find new markets, address competitor issues and identify capital, it limits their ability to grow their business and hire employees. And most of the new jobs, the new ideas and the energy that are important cogs in our economy are brought to us by – you guessed it – small business. 
Most readers of these monthly newsletters are small business owners and employees. I hope you join the Chamber not only to work with others to grow your business and our economy, but also to increase the odds of your long-term success. As an entrepreneur you well know the courage, hard work and risk that comes with being your own boss. You tell us that economic uncertainty, lower consumer spending, and regulatory burdens are your biggest challenges. At the Chamber, we and our partners will work on your behalf to grow our population, to increase per capita income, and to keep cutting regulations locally and statewide.
National Small Business Month is the perfect time for entrepreneurs to plan and implement new business tactics to fuel growth. Turn some of your hard work into “smart work” by considering the following:
• Are you considering a new service or product?
• Are you expanding a current facility or opening a new one?
• Are you hiring the right candidates; can you find them?
• Are you planning and allocating funds for targeted marketing campaigns?
Among the Chamber’s most valuable services are those provided through our partnership with the Southwest Indiana Small Business Development Center. SBDC advisors provide one-on-one advising to business owners by helping them create a business plan, identify and secure financing, develop growth plans, implement efficiency strategies and more.    
Join the Chamber and the Southwest Indiana SBDC as we celebrate those risk-takers and innovators in our community during SBA Small Business Week, May 6-10. Make May the month you attend a networking event or drop in to Innovation Pointe on a Tuesday morning to have coffee with other entrepreneurs (7:30 a.m. sharp). If mornings aren’t convenient, visit our website for dozens of other choices. Reach out; we can connect you with training, research, data and certainly inspiration! 
Thanks for taking the risk! Together we thrive!