Editor's Column - Mike Corbett

Mike CorbettWhere do you come up with your story ideas? I get that question a lot. My answer is, they come from all over. I go to a lot of business-oriented events, talk to a lot of business people, keep my eyes and ear (I only have one good ear) open and ask a lot of questions. There are many good stories here but its not always easy to put your finger on exactly what makes a compelling storyline. It usually involves a calculated risk, an audacious idea, a creative twist, a new market.

The common thread is the local angle. We specialize in telling informative and inspirational stories about local people pursuing their (business) passions. Our ultimate goal is to further the local business culture. It matters that businesses are locally owned and operated. It keeps talent, capital and the entrepreneurial spirit here in our own community and that is crucial to improving our quality of life

Three stories in this edition help illustrate what I mean.

Hamilton County is growing so fast that we’re a magnet for national homebuilders. All the big ones have developments here and they provide fine products at a variety of price points and styles. We appreciate what they bring to the community but, in the end, we’re a line item in their budgets, not all that different from dozens of other communities where they do business.

On the other hand, the Old Town Design Group was started by two guys who grew up in Carmel. Justin Moffett talks fondly about his childhood, can point out his parents’ house and his grandparents’ house. He’s raising his family in a home he built in one of the Carmel neighborhoods his company developed. There’s a difference between his business and a national home builder. That’s the kind of story we like to tell.

We aren’t known for barbeque here in Central Indiana but we do have a handful of barbeque restaurants. The chains have good food and we appreciate what they bring to the table, but in Cicero the Faulkners are building a business around their own brand of barbeque, growing the local business culture and keeping the revenue here. That’s our sweet spot.

The internet has launched thousands of new businesses all over the world. We’re grateful for the amazing selection and low prices available over the internet. But Nick Carter is carving out his own niche, opening new markets for local farmers and giving consumers access to fresh food they didn’t have before. Best of all, the revenue he makes over the internet isn’t going elsewhere. It’s staying right here in the community where it can do the most good. That’s a great story for us.

There’s no shortage of businesses headquartered elsewhere who want a piece of Hamilton County’s pie. But an important measure of our local economy isn’t how appealing we are to outside businesses, it’s how well we grow our own. How we support local people building their businesses here in our own community. The strength of our entrepreneurial spirit.

This magazine is our attempt to further those values. We love telling stories about local people making a living by doing good things. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as we love telling them.

See you around the county,