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Northwest Indiana businesses defy odds, hit 50- and 100-year marks

Levin Tire & Service Center in Highland. Gov. Eric Holcomb honored Levin Tire for lasting 100 years.

Nearly a dozen Region companies earned recognition from the state for their longevity, including the 101-year-old Levin Tire & Service Center chain.

Gov. Eric Holcomb honored 65 businesses from across the state with the Governor’s Century Business Award or the Half Century Business Award, including 11 from Northwest Indiana. 

"Today we honor businesses that have helped lay a foundation for economic success in Indiana, maintaining operations for more than 50 to 100 years and creating long-term career opportunities for Hoosiers," Holcomb said. "Through a strong dedication to their employees, their businesses and their communities, these companies exemplify the pioneering spirit and perseverance that will push our state forward for years to come."

Levin Tire, which has grown to six locations across Northwest Indiana after it was founded by Henry Levin in 1918, received the Century Award.

Half Century Award honorees included the 72-year-old Portage law firm Dogan and Dogan Attorneys at Law, the 81-year-old Hammond-based law firm Eichhorn & Eichhorn, and the 81-year-old Gatlin Plumbing & Heating in Griffith.

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The state government also recognized the 78-year-old Pulaski County-based Good Oil Co., which operates 16 convenience stores and supplies gasoline to more than 100 dealers, and the 57-year-old Winamac-based Kersting's Cycle Center, which sells 400 motorcycles a year and operates the World of Motorcycles Museum at its 40,000-square-foot showroom.

Indiana honored the Hobart-based Luke Family of Brands, which distributes more than 500 million gallons of fuel a year employs more than 900 employees at Luke Oil, GoLo, County Line Orchard, Luke Convenience Stores, Luke Builds, $5 Car Wash and LiqGo, for its 52 years of operation. Schererville-based Mason Corp., which sells high-purity inorganic tin-based chemicals worldwide, was recognized for 69 years.

Further Half Century Award recipients were the 62-year-old N.A. Logan, a Gary-based industrial painting contractor, the 80-year-old Hebron-based telecommunications company Northwest Indiana Telephone Co., better known as NITCO, and the 54-year-old Michigan City-based Sullair, which is one of the largest air compressor manufacturers in the world.

The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that 30 percent of businesses fail in the first two years, 50 percent during the first five years, and 66 percent during the first 10 years.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.