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NWI BizHub online referral network aims to foster small business growth

NWI BizHub online referral network aims to foster small business growth

NWI BizHub online referral network aims to foster small business growth

The new NWI BizHub online referral network aims to foster small business growth across the Calumet Region.

The Legacy Foundation, Crown Point Community Foundation, Unity Foundation of La Porte County, Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center and the Center of Workforce Innovations teamed up to help small entrepreneurs and small business owners in Northwest Indiana, which has the second highest population of small businesses in the Hoosier state. They will get access online to tools and resources needed to establish or grow a company.

“The process of matching a small business’ needs to the right resource is simple, convenient, and easy-to-use. Anyone can access the network by going to and clicking on resources in the menu bar, or the let’s work together button," Network Navigator Donna Catalano said. "Concurrently with this launch, we have been recruiting area organizations that support owners to join the network, and now feature almost 60 resource partners who are ready to connect on NWI BizHub.”

The website emerged from the Northwest Indiana Forum's "Ignite the Region: A Regional Strategy for Economic Transformation" plan.

"The Ignite the Region process showed that our entrepreneurial ecosystem was fragmented," Unity Foundation President Maggi Spartz said. "The lead task was to create a database or tool that would help entrepreneurs of any kind find resources more quickly. We heard it from almost every entrepreneur, ‘I didn’t know where to look for help. I stumbled around until I got lucky. It took a lot of time.’ We are fortunate to now have NWI BizHub to solve this critical need for our community.”

The aim is to create an ecosystem that lifts up the small businesses that support more than 1 million jobs across Indiana.

“We believe in the importance of equitable opportunity for all prospective and current business owners and NWI BizHub provides that access. We look forward to working with many owners in the Northwest Indiana region to help guide and support their continued growth and are excited to be part of the NWI BizHub effort,” said Carolyn Saxton, president of the Legacy Foundation.

The NWI BizHub website officially launches on Nov. 12 during the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center's E-Day Entrepreneurship Excellence Awards

"We are thrilled to host the launch of NWI BizHub during the E-Day event program," Regional Director Lorri Feldt said. "So fitting that an engaging new online entrepreneurial resource hub should have its premiere at the E-Day Entrepreneurial Excellence awards.” 

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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.

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