Welcome to Business Now from the Carmel Chamber of Commerce. We have launched this initiative to better inform our constituents, keeping them abreast of happenings that directly impact business – whether that is a proposed local ordinance or a pending piece of state legislation.
As a member-driven organization committed to enhancing our members’ success, fostering economic growth and contributing to our community’s quality of life, the Carmel Chamber is in business for business. In the last few years, the Chamber has taken a more active role in shaping our business environment through our Business Issues Committee, a 13-member group that meets monthly to discuss pressing issues.
These issues come to the Chamber from a variety of sources, including members, board and business issues committee members as well as the broader business community. The issue is vetted at the Business Issues Committee level leading to a committee vote (simple majority prevails) to take a position on the issue or not. That decision is then forwarded to our 14-member Board of Directors who also must vote to endorse the committee recommendation before the Chamber publicly issues a position.
We hope this provides an informative look at the issues impacting your business. Ideas for future issues or questions about the chamber? Contact Mo Merhoff, Carmel Chamber President.
New Sign Ordinance Simplifies Process
After nearly two decades, Carmel businesses have a new, easy-to-understand, clearly defined sign ordinance that includes a user-friendly visual guide.
The new ordinance is the result of a collaborative effort between the Carmel Chamber and the Department of Community Services (DOCS) for the city of Carmel.
Click here to read an overview of changes and to access the new sign ordinance in its entirety, along with with a visual guide to the ordinance.
Why Limiting PUDs is Bad for Business
During the last few months, we’ve noted some discussion by the Carmel Plan Commission of “too many Planned Unit Developments.” An attempt by the group to place a moratorium on those developments was deemed potentially illegal and dropped. More recently, at the behest of the Planning Commission, an amendment to the current PUD ordinance was drafted which includes substantial requirements for potential developments that would, in our opinion, severely limit the number of such projects.
The Chamber opposes this ordinance amendment, believing it will unfairly hamper business interests.
Click here to read why the Carmel Chamber opposed this ordinance.
Carmel Redevelopment Commission Update
Approximately a year ago, an ordinance that required City Council approval of Carmel Redevelopment Commission (CRC) expenditures passed with a vote of six to one. Then late last year, the CRC’s bond debt was refinanced. Most recently, members of the CRC, City Council and Carmel City Center Development Corporation met for a group discussion to share priorities and projects.
BusinessNOW will keep you updated regarding this vital element of our Carmel business community through this newsletter and updates through our social media pages. Follow us on Facebook for frequent updates.
Notes from the Statehouse
The Carmel Chamber has been closely monitoring the current session of the Indiana Legislature. Two bills of particular interest and impact:
- House Bill (HB) 1011 allowing Marion and surrounding counties to place on the 2014 ballot the question whether to join the proposed transit system and gain the authority to provide dedicated funding with a County Option Income Tax of up to 0.3 percent.
- Senate Bill (SB) 189 proposes allowing defined "high-performing school districts" to be given some of the same leeway in requirements given to charter schools.
Both the Carmel Chamber and the Hamilton County Business Issues Committee support HB 1011 and SB 189.
Click here to read why.
All-County Luncheon Talks Urban Revitalization
Last spring’s first-ever all-county Chamber Luncheon drew a record crowd of more than 400 to hear Executive Director of Southern Growth Policies Board Ted Abernathy talk about collaboration.
“Urban Revitalization” will be the topic for the 2013 All-County Chamber Luncheon on April 17 at The Mansion at Oak Hill. Tom Murphy, Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute and former Mayor of Pittsburgh, will share his unique insight on urban revitalization.
Click here to learn more about Murphy, the Urban Land Institute or to register for the luncheon.
Company Expansions, Relocations Favor Carmel Business Climate
The last 30 days have been full of positive indications regarding Carmel's business friendly climate and growing workforce. Among them, automotive financial services provider, NextGear Capital; Polleo Systems, Inc., a cloud computing a strategic technology servicer; auto insurer GEICO and Baldwin & Lyons, Inc., one of the largest property and casualty insurance companies based in Indiana.
Read more here.