June 19-25 is Entrepreneurship Week in Indiana – an opportunity for Hoosiers to recognize and celebrate the vital importance of free-market entrepreneurship in our state and local communities.
While much of the business-related coverage we read about in the news each day is focused on major national and multi-national corporations, small businesses form the backbone of our economy.
More than 97 percent of Indiana businesses fall into the small business category. These businesses employ nearly 1.2 million people in our state. These are our neighbors, friends and fellow Hoosiers who help support and build our communities.
Lawmakers at the Statehouse understand the critical importance of creating a pro-growth economic climate. We understand that government doesn’t create jobs, but it can help create the environment where job creators can thrive.
Developing fiscally responsible public policies that support job creation is always a top priority for the General Assembly. This begins with passing balanced budgets that live within our means. It also includes building sufficient reserves that serve to protect taxpayers in the event of an unforeseen downturn.
We also understand that the less tax money government takes, the more freedom individuals and employers have to put their money to work in the form of starting a business, growing a business or hiring workers. That’s why over the last decade, we have reduced taxes on individuals, businesses, farmers and homeowners, and eliminated the unfair inheritance tax.
The tax dollars we do spend are prioritized for improving educational opportunities so that individuals can put themselves and their families on the path to career success and employers can find the skilled workers they need. In fact, over half of every general fund tax dollar Indiana spends goes to K-12 education.
We also place a priority on funding the roads and infrastructure required to support a vibrant economy. Just this year, lawmakers passed a road-funding plan that will provide $1 billion for state and local road projects over the next two years. These roads will help Hoosiers in their day-to-day travels, and help products made in Indiana get to market more efficiently.
These efforts, combined with the hard work and ingenuity of everyday Hoosiers, are having an impact. CEO Magazine recently ranked Indiana as the fifth-best business climate in the country. We’ve also been ranked in the top ten by Forbes, Area Development Magazine, and Site Selection Magazine. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation ranks our business tax climate as the best in the Midwest and eighth best in the nation.
Events like Entrepreneurship Week help spread the word that Indiana is a great place for motivated, hardworking individuals to start or grow a small business. To learn more about the various activities going on around the state, visit inentrepreneurshipweek.com. You can also follow #inewk on Twitter to learn more about local events.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas on these and other issues. My office can be reached at 800-382-9467 or by email at Senator.Long@iga.in.gov.
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