Are You Ready to Risk It?

Innovation. Maybe the most important combination of 10 (I counted several times) letters that are out there today. Companies must innovate to succeed; innovation is what drives many entrepreneurs each and every day.

Innovation is a huge part of the Indiana Chamber-led Indiana Vision 2025 plan. The mission statement: "Indiana will be a global leader in innovation and economic opportunity where enterprises and citizens prosper."

Innovative is how I would describe Risk It, a new regional business idea competition in the southeastern part of the state that is being presented by the Indiana Small Business Development Center. A three-minute pitch to a panel of judges and audience is accompanied by the opportunity for prizes that include visibility and expert assistance.

The initial event is October 25 at the Venture Out Business Center in Madison. An awards luncheon in New Albany is one of the following steps.

Are you ready to Risk It?

For the Sport of It

What’s your favorite Indiana sports movie?

BizVoice recently provided a feature on Indiana’s most notable sports films. Check out the article, and vote for your favorite movie at You can also leave a comment of your own — maybe let us know if there’s another film that should be on the list. For example, I bet folks down in Jefferson County might contend "Madison" should be here somewhere.

Let us know what you think!

Seymour Grocer Nourishing Southern Indiana Since 1863

Jay C Food Stores have been serving southern Indiana for many years. In that time, the stores have seen many changes. However, the company’s dedication to serving Seymour and the surrounding community remains unwavered by the winds of time — and the pains of recession. Jay C’s story is one of adaptation, evolution, and ultimately success. Here are some key points of progress, as told by the company:

  • It all began in 1863. John C. Groub, a young Swiss immigrant, made his way to Seymour, Indiana. He sold matches to pay his way from Louisville, Kentucky to Rockford, Indiana.
  • In 1863, John C. Groub opened his first store in a building on South Chestnut Street. The front portion was a grocery store; the back was used for living quarters. 
  • The business grew and Mr. Groub secured a downtown location on West Second Street in 1871.
  • Deliveries by truck started about 1919, and satellite warehouses were established in Mitchell and Connersville.
  • As the number of stores increased, so did the need for more warehouse space, and in 1938 a new two-story warehouse, one-half block in size, was built at the south end of Ewing Street.
  • In the late 1950s, the Jay C leadership made a commitment to teamwork when it made the promise, “As the Company Progresses, So Shall Its People.” At the same time, a cash profit sharing plan was inaugurated. As a result of this team effort, profit sharing has been paid every year since its inception.
  • A new name, and a new kind of store operation became a part of the company during the 1980s-90s.  Four Foods Plus Stores were opened in Bedford, Madison, Columbus, and Seymour.  The concept of these stores involved giving customers a role in creating savings for themselves by bagging their own groceries and taking them to the car. 
  • By the end of the 1990s, Jay C consisted of 25 Jay C Stores, 4 Foods Plus Stores, and 2 Ruler Discount Foods Stores.
  • In August,1999 the John C. Groub Company merged with the Kroger Company, the largest grocery retailer in the United States.
  • The company has prospered as an independent division of the Kroger Company, retaining its name, people, traditions, values, leadership, and products.

Congrats to Jay C, an Indiana Chamber member, for so many years of success — and thanks for showing other Indiana businesses what can be accomplished with determination and forward thinking.

Wisconsin, Minnesota Become Partners to Fight Economic Blues

Two states in the upper Midwest — Minnesota and Wisconsin — are hoping they’ve found a way to endure the tough times by forging a partnership, sort of like Tango & Cash, Rodgers & Hammerstein, etc.: 

The governors said they hope to save "tens of millions of dollars" in the coming years by cooperating on everything from buying road salt and prison food to running state telephone call centers.

"This is an opportunity for neighbors to help each other during a very difficult economy," Doyle said at the Madison signing of the agreement, adding later, "I am prepared to think very big about this."
Doyle and Pawlenty outlined the measures in St. Paul and Madison to help cope with the deficits facing both states.

Wisconsin has a projected budget shortfall of $5.4 billion and Minnesota faces a gap of $4.8 billion, both by the end of their upcoming two-year budgets.

Experts praised the proposal but cautioned it could provide only modest help at best in fixing the current budget gaps.

The effectiveness of such a pact is yet to be seen, but it’s potentially a practical and encouraging solution for some problems nonetheless. Perhaps Indiana’s governor may one day find it useful to forge a partnership with our neighboring … governor … in … Illinois … ooooohh, riiiiiight. Perhaps not.