Gov. Mike Pence is calling for the phase out of the business personal property tax. He believes it will help spur new investment and growth in the state. It's a key element of his 2014 legislative agenda, which was unveiled yesterday. The Governor also wants to set aside $400 million for highway projects and establish a pre-kindergarten program for low income families. House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath (D-9) says Pence's plan is "not all bad," but believes public classrooms are forgotten in the education proposals and also questions how new spending will fall in line with the Governor's reputation as a fiscal conservative.
Index Shows Confidence Down, Loyalty Up
The Indiana Business Confidence Index is near its lowest level since the measurement began almost three years ago, but also suggests an uptick in employee loyalty. Walker Senior Vice President Bruce Kidd says the vast majority of survey respondents are proud to work for their company. However, many say they have been asked to take on additional work with no extra pay and do not believe they are receiving the training necessary for long-term careers with their employers. In an interview to air this weekend on Inside INdiana Business Television, Kidd says research suggests a lack of loyalty could cost companies $10,000 per employee.
Statewide Effort to Target Food And Ag Innovation
Indiana's life sciences initiative is launching an effort focusing on food and agriculture. BioCrossroads says its Food and Agriculture Innovation Initiative, which is being unveiled this morning, calls for the development of long-term strategies for the state's $16 billion industry. It involves Hoosier companies including Atlanta-based Beck's Hybrids, Clabber Girl Corp. in Terre Haute, Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences LLC and Elanco Animal Health in Hancock County.
Could Recycling Mean Thousands of Jobs?
Ball State University's Bowen Center for Public Affairs says Indiana may be missing out on an opportunity for thousands of new jobs. A report from the center suggests the state could create 10,000 jobs by increasing recycling by 25 percent. The Indiana Recycling Coalition is calling on legislators to free up millions of dollars collected each year by the state's recycling fund to be used for programs making recycling more convenient. Indiana Recycling Coalition Executive Director Carey Hamilton says sending recycled materials to Indiana manufacturers will boost the sector.
Recycler Eyeing More Expansion
Waterloo-based MetalX LLC has received preliminary approval for a $7.75 million tax abatement request for an Auburn facility. The DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership tells Inside INdiana Business the recycling company is considering three sites, including a former Alcoa plant in the city, for the proposed operation.
Page Back as IMS Radio Voice
A familiar name is returning as chief announcer for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. Paul Page, who served in the role for a decade beginning in the late 1970s will succeed Mike King.
Hoosiers Make '40 Under 40' List
Multiple Indiana professionals are on a national agriculture publication company's "40 Under 40" list. This year's class from Vance Publishing Corp. includes representatives from Purdue University, Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences and Elanco Animal Health in Hancock County.
Indiana City Near Top of 'Best-Performing' List
Several Hoosier communities are marking gains in an annual index of the country's "Best-Performing Cities." The rankings from California-based think tank the Milken Institute consider metrics including job creation and technology. Columbus ranks second overall in the small city category.
Hoops Hall of Fame Announces Honorees
The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame has named its most recent group of men's basketball inductees. The 2014 class includes more than a dozen former players and coaches who will be celebrated at an awards banquet in March.
Indy Maps Out Downtown Vision
Economic development is a key part of a new strategic plan for the future of downtown Indianapolis. The Velocity initiative calls for marketing improvements to attract businesses, the creation of free Wi-Fi zones and efforts to enhance the area's core industries including tourism and research. Indianapolis Downtown Inc. Vice President Bob Schultz says the plan also includes a strategy for promoting the area as a collection of work, live and play neighborhoods. Schultz says implementation will begin with short-term, "quick hits."
Ivy Tech Announces Academic Restructuring
Ivy Tech Community College is changing its academic divisions to better align programs with career tracks. The school also hopes the streamlined structure will help retain students. The new system will take effect with the Fall 2014 term.
Old Building Gets New Life in Kokomo
Kokomo's downtown revitalization momentum continues with the announcement of a new restaurant. The Fox's Trail opens today in a former ice house that dates back to the 1870s. Restaurateur Mike Lucas is behind the new eatery. He previously owned Sly Fox, which was forced to close after a fire.
Art Galleries Planned For Historic Building
A developer has plans to breathe new life into one of downtown Indianapolis' oldest buildings. JHL Properties has already started renovations that will turn the 1830s structure into retail art galleries. The project is expected to be complete next year.
Terre Haute Landmark to Re-open
A historic venue in Terre Haute re-opened Friday after a more than 6-month restoration initiative. The Indiana Theater Event Center features a 1920s-era 1,700-seat auditorium, plus catering and dining amenities.
Mayors Oppose Marriage Amendment
A dozen mayors from throughout Indiana are joining several universities and employers in opposing a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would further define marriage. Most statements from the bipartisan group focus on economic development and what the mayors term a welcoming environment.
Algae Company Growing in 'Explosive' Market
Indianapolis-based Algaeon Inc. is poised for a major expansion in the coming weeks. During a recent interview in the Inside INdiana Business Life Sciences Indiana e-newsletter, Chief Executive Officer Paul DeLacey says the new facility will involve 800 bioreactors, compared to the nearly four dozen currently functioning. Algaeon extracts a chemical from algae that executives project could be part of a $2 billion industry by 2020. Paul DeLacey says a recently-secured contract with Florida-based Valensa International LLC could bloom into a larger deal.
Airport to Open TSA Application Center
Indianapolis International Airport opened a Transportation Security Administration pre-check application site Wedensday. The airport says the location is the first to open in the nation.