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“Small Business Starts Here” – RushCountyBiz.com
That’s the message that Rushville and Rush County are championing with the launching of the community’s own entrepreneurial website. Over fifty community members gathered on Wednesday when the Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI) team hosted an official launch party for the new website. The Rush County Biz website is the “go-to” source for anyone looking to start or grow a small business in Rush County.
“We believe this website is all-inclusive for small business, and it has been our goal that the website will help answer questions for anyone hoping to start a business, sustain a business, and grow a business,” said Scott Underwood, Business Advisor with the Indiana Small Business Development Center.
According to Rush County ECDC Director John McCane, the local HCI team was the only community in the state program to choose the Economic Development building block for its capstone project. “I believe our HCI group was extremely wise to look at opportunities to enhance and expand small business in Rushville and Rush County. This website is another tool in our belt to assist those local entrepreneurs wanting to be here,” said McCane.
The launch of the small business website is the culmination of months of collaborative work among members of the community, partnerships with Purdue University and Ball State University, local government officials, and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA).
The Rush County Biz website is the capstone project of the Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI) that was started in 2015. The City of Rushville and Rush County collaboration was in the first group of communities named as Hometown Collaboration Initiative Communities. The program targets Indiana communities that are committed to building on their existing assets. It is available to cities, towns and counties in Indiana with a total population of 25,000 or less.
HCI is a long-term capacity building initiative comprised of three phases: Foundation, Building Block and Capstone. The local HCI team recruited and engaged a diverse mix of local people who were willing to explore new ways to strengthen their community. As a team, they carefully studied and analyzed data, existing community plans, and the viewpoints of local residents.
This website will be all inclusive of everything related to starting or growing a small business in Rush County. There will be step-by-step segments on how to begin, what it takes to be an entrepreneur, where to find local support, whether that be financial or business acumen, networking, marketing, educational opportunities and more. There will be a section for existing small businesses to find ancillary resources they may need to grow.
As a next step, the HCI team wants to develop a mentoring system of local small business leaders to provide one-on-one support for other entrepreneurs needing real-time, experienced guidance.
When Rushville was selected by OCRA to be a Hometown Collaboration Initiative community, it earned a $10,000 grant from the State of Indiana to complete the community capstone project.
“This website will be an amazing tool for small business, and will most certainly be complimentary to all of the projects we are developing through the Stellar Program,” said Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey. “The Overlook project will house entrepreneurial co-working space. Your community leaders are illustrating to everyone that Rush County is open for business!”