Business news

Downtown Lafayette hosts Small Business Saturday

Nov 26, 2013
Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette

Merchants in downtown Lafayette want holiday shoppers to know they have something to offer.

The shops are celebrating Small Business Saturday this weekend. It’s designed to draw customers to mom-and-pop stores on Main Streets across America.

Diane Gee owns Grateful Heart Gallery and Gifts. She says while she and her neighboring storeowners don’t have everything, they have something unique.

"Growing Ag Leaders" pilot program includes IN

Nov 19, 2013

According to a U.S Department of Agriculture report, roughly 25,000 agriculture jobs go unfilled each year.

To address the issue, Monsanto and the National F.F.A. are partnering to encourage more students pursuing a degree in the field.

Most of Indiana is part of their scholarship pilot program, including Tippecanoe and surrounding counties.

Human resources representatives of Greater Lafayette companies are working to attract and retain young professionals.

They were part of a daylong discussion on the topic sponsored by Tippy Connect, Purdue and Greater Lafayette Commerce.

One issue they’re dealing with is what’s available for young professionals to do outside of work.

Tippy Connect president Brianne Keyes says she was not surprised by any of the points brought up, but she thinks executives learned quite a bit.

Relationships to Partnerships event at Purdue

Nov 11, 2013

Purdue is hosting its annual Relationships to Partnerships event Friday, Nov. 15.

It’s designed to help minority and women business owners connect with other companies throughout Indiana.

The university’s Office of Supplier Diversity Development cosponsors the daylong conference. Director Jesse Moore says bringing so many different businesses together benefits everyone involved.

IN Sheep and Wool checkoff program

Nov 11, 2013
Purdue Extension

The sale of wool or sheep in Indiana will have a special assessment tacked on to it beginning next month.

Members of the industry approved the checkoff program this summer after a petition initiated the process last year. The 0.5% assessment for each transaction is expected to raise $30,000-$40,000 annually.

Jerry Fankhauser, assistant director of the Office of Agricultural Research at Purdue (ARP), administered the check-off process. ARP is within the College of Agriculture.

He says funds may be used for promotion, consumer and producer education, and research.

State seeking feedback from NIPSCO customers

Nov 7, 2013

The Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor is taking input from customers of Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) on a proposed natural gas rate hike.

The Merrillville-based company has proposed the rate hike to fund system wide improvements totaling $713 million.

The planned projects are throughout NIPSCO's natural gas service territory. Those include replacement of aging infrastructure, new transmission mains, the installation of automated valves, and expansion into rural areas that currently do not have natural gas service.

CityBus General Manager Marty Sennett is scheduled to speak with WBAA every other month about what's going on at the transit service that serves Greater Lafayette.

The first two topics cover safe drivers and mechanics, and a safety campaign CityBus is creating with Purdue Police. Also, he discusses ridership numbers for 2013.

Purdue is expanding through a new program offered in Chicago.

The weekend MBA for STEM Professionals runs 16 months, beginning with a 10 day orientation in West Lafayette; otherwise, students meet in downtown Chicago.

Krannert Dean Chris Earley says the city has the highest concentration of Purdue alumni anywhere in the world. He thinks a lot of them will be interested in getting another degree from Purdue.

The fundraising arm of Purdue is moving to the Purdue Research Foundation.

The Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee approved the transfer Friday afternoon.

Administrators say it will provide more flexibility and allow both the University Development Office and P.R.F. to better serve donors.

Foundation President Dan Hasler says both have similar functions, so combining the two makes sense.

City of Lafayette purchasing new computer system

Oct 29, 2013
Central Indiana Glass & Glazing

The City of Lafayette is moving forward with a new computer system to handle day-to-day operations. The Board of Works approved a recommendation to purchase the package from Tyler Technologies Munis.

Lafayette information technology director Andy Milam says the change will mean better service for employees and residents.

Local medical device company expanding

Oct 25, 2013

A leading developer of regenerative medicine products is expanding in Lafayette.

ACell Incorporated is headquartered in Maryland, but opened its site in Duncan Park on Sagamore Parkway in 2006.

Initially housed in a 2,500 square-foot facility, the company currently occupies 28,000 square feet. An additional 14,000 square feet of new space will be constructed by late 2014.

ACell president Rodney Bosley says the new facility is needed to help the company continue to grow. It's being paid for by the developer of Duncan Park, INOK Investments.

The redevelopment of the Home Hospital site in Lafayette is getting some financial assistance from the city. Mainstreet Property Group will receive $800,000 in tax increment financing district funds over four years.

In essence, some of that funding will come from the developer’s own tax liability. A 65,000 square foot senior living facility will go up where the old hospital once stood.

Lafayette seeking proposals for vacant lot downtown

Oct 24, 2013

Developers interested in a downtown Lafayette property can submit their proposals next month.

The city is looking for someone to build at 103 South 4th Street, which is the site of the former Queen Anne Courts apartment complex.

Economic Development Director Dennis Carson says the request for proposals has specific conditions, including a residential element.

An Indianapolis company has come to terms on a deal with UPS that is expected to save millions and reduce its carbon footprint.

Kinetrex Energy, a subsidiary of Citizens Energy Group, will supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel UPS tractor trailers in the Midwest.

President and CEO Carey Lykins says the move is a step toward becoming the leading LNG provider in the region.

"It's perfect timing," he says. "The price of natural gas is 60% of what it was six years ago and especially compared to the price of diesel, which is going up."

A St. Elizabeth Health official says 39 jobs will be cut at the organization's hospitals in Lafayette and Crawfordsville.

Lisa Decker, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, says those positions are across all units and does include "several nurse positions." She says no doctor jobs are being cut.

Below is the news release from Franciscan Alliance about the staff reduction: