A multi-county economic development organization has a pair of programs designed to help start and develop small business in Daviess County.

Radius Indiana unveiled its efforts to bring a downtown, small manufacturing program to several communities including Washington and Odon.

“We are looking to bring an existing program, called Recast City to the downtowns in these communities,” said CEO for Radius Indiana Jeff Quyle. “The idea is to redevelop downtowns by bringing in retail scale manufacturing.”

The idea would be to have businesses open in vacant buildings that make their own product in the back of the shop, and then sell it to either walk-in or internet customers in the front.

“This is not any kind of heavy manufacturing,” said Daviess County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Bryant Niehoff. “This would be more of an artisan-based product that could be made in the back of the business and then sold in the front.”

Examples could be businesses that make candles, candy or even a microbrewery.

“We think this can check off a lot of important economic development boxes,” said Quyle. “It can fill some of the empty spaces in our downtowns, bring in people to work in the businesses and increase traffic to downtowns by bringing in more customers.”

Quyle points out the program is in the formative stages. He says local officials are assessing community needs, getting an inventory of potential facilities and trying to locate potential entrepreneurs.

“We do not have a lot of vacancies but we have identified a few places that could work for this in our downtown,” said Niehoff. “We are also reaching out to area entrepreneurs to see if they would be willing to get involved.”

“We have presented this to some of the government officials as well,” said Quyle. “So, there is the possibility that there could be incentives built into the process in the future.”

Another program underway through Radius Indiana is called economic gardening.

“In this one we are looking to assist existing small businesses that are ready to grow and expand,” said Quyle.

The project puts those small businesses in contact with the Purdue Center for Retail Development.

“The plan is to provide the marketing to help those businesses grow bigger, stronger and faster,” he said.

“This is a chance for businesses to work with the Purdue Center for Retail Development to work through some of the issues that might have been holding it back from growing or identify things that could help it expand,” said Niehoff.

Radius is working with the Daviess County Economic Development Corp. on both projects. Anyone looking to participate in either program is encouraged to contact the DCEDC.

“We feel we have to do what helps small business,” said Quyle. “Nearly all of the businesses in the area are small. Building those businesses is the key for a community’s future economy. That’s why we have introduced these programs.”

“This is what we do,” said Niehoff. “Our purpose is to help business succeed in Daviess County. It doesn’t matter if it is a big manufacturer or a small operation. We are here to help those businesses do their best.”
© 2021 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.