The Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership (HCEDP) awarded Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORSR (MIBOR) Board of Director member Beth Ford with the organization’s STAR Award for her leadership and service to the Economic Gardening program in Hendricks County.
Additionally, MIBOR received a STAR Award for supporting the program through its REALTORSR Community Investment Initiative (RCII). Both Ford and MIBOR received their awards at the organization’s 2010 Annual Meeting recently at Deer Creek Golf Club in Clayton.
“We are honored to be an integral part of the Economic Gardening initiative on both a member level with Beth, and as an organizational platform through RCII,” said Steve Sullivan, MIBOR CEO. “The continual economic development of central Indiana is something very important to us, and the HCEDP’s work to spread the Economic Gardening program across the state is directly in line with MIBOR’s mission.”
In early 2010, the HCEDP engaged with the Edward Lowe Foundation to begin planning an Economic Gardening program for Hendricks County. The project focuses on stage two companies, or organizations that have between 10-99 employees and need assistance to continue to create jobs and make new investments. Stage two companies employ 41 percent of all Hendricks County workers.
“Stage two companies are vital to the continued success of not only Hendricks County, but for all of central Indiana,” said Ford. “With the Economic Gardening program, we will be able to help these valuable businesses stay ahead during a time when many establishments are struggling.”
Ford assisted both parties in identifying funding from MIBOR’s RCII to support the program’s creation and implementation. HCEDP was awarded $25,000 from RCII, which allowed the focus of the program to be initially elevated to a regional scope. With Ford’s continued leadership and service, an additional $25,000 was commitment from the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC). The HCEDP is now working with Purdue University in hopes of taking the Economic Gardening program statewide.
“Our initial plans were to host the program in one community as a pilot, but the opportunity to take it to the region and then the full state is a true win for Indiana,” said Cinda Kelley-Hutchings, HCEDP executive director. “This program sets us apart and enables us to retain and support second-stage companies. Beth Ford, MIBOR and ISBDC are true partners in economic development.” Full implementation of the Economic Gardening program begins in 2011.