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BusINess » Business

Archives for the ‘Business’ Category

Officials give preview of Volt, Think City cars

A 2011 Chevrolet Volt sits in front of Avalon Manor in Hobart on Tuesday as part of the South Shore Clean Cities annual meeting. A Think City car also was on display as part of the preview of electric vehicles. Automaker representatives touted the economic and environmental benefits of the vehicles. (Photograph by Kyle Telechan/The Times.)

A 2011 Chevrolet Volt sits in front of Avalon Manor in Hobart on Tuesday as part of the South Shore Clean Cities annual meeting. A Think City car also was on display as part of the preview of electric vehicles. Automaker representatives touted the economic and environmental benefits of the vehicles. (Photograph by Kyle Telechan/The Times.)

Two new electric vehicles made their 2011 Northwest Indiana debut Tuesday at the South Shore Clean Cities annual meeting.

The Chevrolet Volt and the Elkhart-made Think City were parked outside Avalon Manor for guests to view and test-drive. Inside, representatives from the manufacturers touted the economic and environmental benefits of the vehicles.

Larry Speicher, General Motors regional manager, said the marketing strategy for the Volt is “more car than electric.”
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Indiana to Illinois businesses: We want you

Local officials join Indiana Commerce Secretary Mitch Roob, right, during a news conference Monday at the Hammond marina to announce efforts to lure Illinois employers to Northwest Indiana. At the lectern is Mark Maassel, president and CEO of the NWI Forum, and to left is Don Babcock, economic development director for NIPSCO. (Photograph by Jonathan Miano/The Times .)

Local officials join Indiana Commerce Secretary Mitch Roob, right, during a news conference Monday at the Hammond marina to announce efforts to lure Illinois employers to Northwest Indiana. At the lectern is Mark Maassel, president and CEO of the NWI Forum, and to left is Don Babcock, economic development director for NIPSCO. (Photograph by Jonathan Miano/The Times .)

The Northwest Indiana Forum on Monday launched a $250,000 advertising blitz that will attempt to squeeze some business opportunities out of Illinois’ recent hike in personal and corporate income taxes.

Illinois employers soon will see billboards, print and cable ads asking them if they are “Feeling Squeezed by Taxes?” The campaign will be in concert with the Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s Illinnoyed by Higher Taxes? campaign launched in late January.

“In Indiana you will find a team that is trustworthy, that is reliable and that will help your business make more money,” said Forum Chairman Don Babcock in a campaign kickoff at the Hammond Marina.
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Highland man lends his voice to pitch products

Tim Kulchar, owner of Region Voiceover Co., operates out of his home where he looks to help local business owners promote products through radio advertising, commercials, websites, narrations and other media forms. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Tim Kulchar, owner of Region Voiceover Co., operates out of his home where he looks to help local business owners promote products through radio advertising, commercials, websites, narrations and other media forms. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

You may never have met Tim Kulchar, but you may know his voice.

As a voiceover artist in the region, Kulchar helps local business owners promote products through radio advertising, commercials, websites, narrations and other media forms.

Though it’s his soft, baritone voice people hear, Kulchar allows his ideas and creativity to do the talking.
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Bringing NWI online community offline

NWITweetup organizer Nat Finn checks his phone at the group's January meeting at Northwoods Restaurant in St John. (Photograph by Tim Hunt/The Times.)

NWITweetup organizer Nat Finn checks his phone at the group's January meeting at Northwoods Restaurant in St John. (Photograph by Tim Hunt/The Times.)

Bringing the region’s online community together offline while helping local businesses learn how to use social media as an effective marketing tool is the goal behind monthly “tweetups” happening in Northwest Indiana.

The gatherings provide a stimulating meeting place for local marketers and designers, said NWITweetup organizers Kathy Sipple, and Dave Woodson and Nat Finn.

“Tweeting and social media in the region will grow with people’s understanding of it,” Finn said.
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‘Land baron’ takes on Lake County’s tax system

This abandoned industrial building at 2800 E. Dunes Highway in Gary is one of approximately $10 million in properties that Andrew L. Young, an Illinois investor, owns in Gary and surrounding areas. (Photograph by Dan Shelton/The Times.)

This abandoned industrial building at 2800 E. Dunes Highway in Gary is one of approximately $10 million in properties that Andrew L. Young, an Illinois investor, owns in Gary and surrounding areas. (Photograph by Dan Shelton/The Times.)

Most Northwest Indiana residents line up and pay their taxes annually without a whimper.

The few thousand who put up a fight must play by the taxing authority’s rules—troop to its office, fill out its paperwork and plead their case to its hearing officers.

Not Andrew L. Young.
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This week’s BusINess newsletter out now!

Check out BusINess’ weekly newsletter online or click here to subscribe and get the latest NWI business news delivered weekly, straight to your inbox.

Razing buildings raises redevelopment hope in NWI’s older cities; “land baron” takes on Lake County tax system, which he says systematically sabotages his vast holdings; NWI-based banks show positive 4Q earnings. A former East Chicago card dealer found guilty of bilking $1.5 million from local casino, as “tweetups” bring online friends together and help local businesses, and an Indiana campaign to lure Illinois businesses begins. White House proposes reduced role of government in mortgage market; the Chicago auto show launches retail season and gives hope to NWI dealerships; and U.S. gas prices surge to highest-ever mid-February levels.—Pat Colander, Editor and Associate Publisher, BusINess magazine, serving Northwest Indiana & Chicagoland
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Razing buildings raises redevelopment hope

A crew demolishes an abandoned home on December 20, 2010, in Gary. U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., helped secure funding for the work after touring the house last year with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development official. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

A crew demolishes an abandoned home on December 20, 2010, in Gary. U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., helped secure funding for the work after touring the house last year with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development official.
(Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

For urban areas plagued by unsafe or abandoned buildings that drain property values and scar the landscape, the best way to spur development often involves a wrecking ball.

Hammond, Whiting, East Chicago and Gary—landlocked except for the lakefront—can’t build out by scooping up underdeveloped or unincorporated pieces of land on their borders, so they demolish sagging homes and outdated factories in the name of development.

“It’s a very important tool and it’s true redevelopment,” Whiting Mayor Joe Strahula said. “It’s very expensive, but you have to utilize a program like that or else, a small city like Whiting that’s landlocked, development doesn’t happen.”
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Tuesday business workshop outlines business ownership

The Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center is offering its Launch Your Own Business workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Hammond INnovation Center, 5209 Hohman Ave.

The workshop is designed to help entrepreneurs determine their preparedness and ability to launch a business by examining the opportunities, responsibilities and challenges involved in business ownership.

Cost is $25, and registration and payment are required in advance.

To register, contact the NWI SBDC at 219.644.3513 or visit nwisbdc.org, click on Seminars and Events, then the title of the workshop and follow the instructions.


Cedar Lake company wins EDGE award

Lt. Governor Becky Skillman presented Midwest PGM of Cedar Lake with the Indiana Small Business Development Center Network’s Economic Development through Growth and Entrepreneurship Award during a Statehouse ceremony Wednesday.

Midwest PGM was one of 18 companies honored. It won for Emerging Category—Automotive scrap purchasing, reuse and recycling business

Sponsored by the Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s Small Business Development Centers, the awards recognize clients of the agency’s nine regional offices throughout the state in two categories: emerging and established. Recipients are chosen by their regional centers.

“Indiana relies on its small business community to create jobs and invest in their individual communities even in tough economic times,” said Lt. Governor Becky Skillman in a news release.

For more information, visit isbdc.org.


Lowell family honored with Hoosier Homestead Centennial Award

Margaret and Charles Bailey are shown at the dining room table in their Lowell farmhouse. Today, the Baileys will be honored with the Hoosier Homestead Centennial Award from the Indiana Department of Agriculture. (Photograph by Pat Kincaid, file/The Times.)

Margaret and Charles Bailey are shown at the dining room table in their Lowell farmhouse. Today, the Baileys will be honored with the Hoosier Homestead Centennial Award from the Indiana Department of Agriculture. (Photograph by Pat Kincaid, file/The Times.)

From the windows of his white frame hilltop home, Charles Bailey looks to the south, where westbound Ind. 2 cuts an asphalt swath through the 128-year-old farmstead where he has lived all 92 years.

Bailey remembers when the row of ailanthus trees, also known as the Tree of Heaven, were bulldozed to make room for the highway but lived on in his father’s Lanthus Stock Farm, a cattle operation.

Today, Bailey and his wife of 72 years, Margaret, will drive to Indianapolis where they will be honored with the Hoosier Homestead Centennial Award from the Indiana Department of Agriculture. Their family farm is one of 22 honored this year.
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