Jay County has a good mix of industry – automotive, food processing, ag production and secondary operations, container manufacturing, die casting, furniture and cabinetry and more. However, there is a historical lag in very small and micro business creation and retention in the county (up to 20 employees). Some resources are in place for entrepreneurs:
The county has been building a relationship with the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center to help advise small business.
Jay County’s first annual pitch competition for small business startup and growth, Launch Jay, was held in 2021 with funding awarded to the top three contestants.
Some local funding is available to startups through local economic development income tax revenue.
Unfortunately, the community lacks some important aspects of a “no wrong door” system of an entrepreneurial ecosystem:
- Access to other forms of capital.
- Physical space – individual or coworking.
- A community support system for small businesses.
Jay County challenges FFC innovators with providing a unique solution to build an ecosystem that encourages and supports entrepreneurs in all phases of business development to continue pushing their economy
How might we, as a historically industrial county, create an entrepreneurial ecosystem to foster small & micro business creation?
Challenges by Jay County
Create a solution that reverses Jay County's declining health trends.
Create youth leadership opportunities for teens in Jay County.
Plan for highest use of federal stimulus & economic development funds over a 10 year period.
Plan for highest use of one-time renewable energy economic development funds over a 5-10 year period.