Southside Business Summit launches conversation to build economic capacity

Leaders from five south-central Indiana cities will discuss ways to forge the future through economic development at the inaugural Southside Business Summit on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at the University of Indianapolis. The first-of-its-kind summit brings together municipal leaders and business owners to explore possibilities for economic growth within the geographical area from south of Washington St. in Indianapolis to Franklin, Ind.

University of Indianapolis President Robert L. Manuel and Independent Colleges of Indiana President and CEO David W. Wantz will provide remarks, followed by a panel discussion.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Franklin Mayor Steve Barnett, Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley, Southport Mayor Russell McClure and Kevin Steinmetz, capital projects manager for the Office of the Mayor of Greenwood, will participate in the discussion moderated by Angela Smith-Jones, deputy mayor for economic development for the City of Indianapolis. The event, hosted by the University of Indianapolis, is open to the public for a $5 registration fee, with proceeds donated to Gleaners Food Bank.

With more than 25,000 vehicles traveling on Madison Ave. and nearly 15,000 using Shelby St. through South Indy each weekday, Michelle Strahl Salinas, director for South Indy Quality of Life Plan, said the time is right to advocate for improvements in business corridors.

“Through the Southside Business Summit, we hope to network with other like-minded communities and have a stronger voice in bringing infrastructure and business opportunities to the Southside. By bringing together business and property owners, SoIndy has begun the process of sharing resources for small business development and improvements,” Salinas said.

“It’s an exciting time. As construction of the IndyGo Red Line creates opportunities for economic development and connectivity, the Southside Business Summit provides a forum for thoughtful discussion,” said Corey Wilson, special advisor to the president for external affairs at the University of Indianapolis.

Robin Heldman, president of Direct Connect Printing, said the discussion is critical to addressing issues facing Southside businesses.

One of the struggles for this business sector is the decision to continue operations as they are or expand the goods and services to build more capacity.  My hope is this event will lend insight to business owners as to the direction the city leaders are taking in this area,” Heldman said.

The Southside Business Summit is presented by the University of Indianapolis, South Indy Quality of Life, Direct Connect Printing & Digital Services, the Greater Southside Business Alliance, the Greater Beech Grove Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Greenwood Chamber, the Fountain Square Cultural District and the West Side Chamber of Commerce of Indianapolis.

Register here for the Southside Business Summit.

 

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