Two small businesses from Northwest Indiana got statewide recognition for their entrepreneurial spirit and economic contributions.
Carmella's Miller Beach Market Place in Gary and CLR Auto Transport in Merrillville won Economic Development through Growth and Entrepreneurship, or EDGE, awards from the Indiana Small Business Development Center.
Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann presented the awards – which are intended to celebrate economic development through entrepreneurship and growth – at a statehouse ceremony in Indianapolis.
In all, 20 businesses earned the plaudits, which recognized emerging and established businesses that are clients of the Indiana Small Business Development Center's 10 regional offices. The state agency encourages the growth of small businesses by providing entrepreneurs with guidance and resources.
Staff from regional offices selected the winners, which collectively employed more than 320 workers and earned more than $3 million in revenue last year. Eligible businesses must have participated in an Indiana Small Business Development Center program, or gotten one-on-one confidential counseling from one of its business advisers.
"These 20 companies represent the best of the Hoosier entrepreneurial spirit," said Ellspermann. "They each have taken the courageous steps to make their vision of a successful enterprise possible. I am pleased that through the Small Business Development Centers, we can advise and support them and now honor them for their efforts."
CLR, which stands for cars, logistics and relocation, is a Merrillville-based auto transport company that operates nationwide. The business relocates vehicles, including corporate and government fleets.
The employee-owned and operated company serves clients that include Fidelity National, Lab Corp., and Arkray, USA Inc.
Carmella's Miller Beach Market Place offers fresh produce, imports, Intelligentsia Coffee, Turano Breads, gluten-free products and other specialty fare.
The store, which opened early last year on Shelby Street, emphasizes healthy and sustainable food and crafts, and offers free delivery throughout the Miller neighborhood and also to points of entry at the beach.