Indiana refocuses efforts to aid small business, entrepreneurs

2013-06-27T11:34:00Z 2013-06-28T09:54:12Z Indiana refocuses efforts to aid small business, entrepreneursBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mike Pence has reorganized Indiana's outreach to small businesses by shifting several existing state assistance programs under a new umbrella agency dubbed the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

The Republican governor signed an executive order Thursday creating the new office and named as executive director Jacob Schpok, an eight-year veteran of the Indiana Small Business Development Center.

That center, along with the state's Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and other small business specialty programs will now be overseen by the new entrepreneurship office, which will be housed under Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann.

"We're in a position to build on our recent success by accelerating growth on start-up companies and small businesses and that's what the executive order is really all about," Pence said.

The governor, speaking at the Indianapolis start-up assistance company DeveloperTown, said he's confident the new agency will help achieve his goal to make Indiana hospitable and attractive to young entrepreneurs and new companies.

"What we want to say here in Indiana is that the season of the entrepreneur has begun in the Hoosier State and we're going to work every day to make that a reality," Pence said.

He rejected the idea that his efforts to add the state's existing ban on gay marriage to the Indiana Constitution will quash that goal by sending the message that some people aren't welcome.

"Indiana is a welcoming state, we are a kind and caring people and I do not believe that having a thoughtful discussion over the definition of marriage in our state will have any different impact than it has had on the more than 30 states whose people have decided to enshrine that principle in their state constitutions," Pence said.

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