May 01, 2023

Indiana Recognizes Hoosier Entrepreneurs for Community Contributions, Economic Impact During Small Business Week

Governor Eric J. Holcomb today issued a proclamation declaring May 1 – 7 as Small Business Week in Indiana, celebrating the more than 534,000 small businesses in Indiana and the more than 1.2 million hardworking Hoosiers they employ.



“This week is all about celebrating the important contribution of an integral part of our state's economy--small businesses,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Hard work, dedication and grit are not just Hoosier values; these are values put into action every day by entrepreneurs across the state to help propel the state's economy forward. I'm proud to point out and celebrate these hardworking Hoosiers not just this week, but every day.”



Consistent with Secretary Chambers increased focus on entrepreneurship, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) will recognize seven Hoosier small businesses that have worked with the Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a program of the IEDC, to start, grow or pivot their small businesses. These awards, presented in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National Small Business Week, honor the entrepreneurs' and small businesses' achievements and contributions to grow Indiana’s economy and strengthen communities across the state. 

“Entrepreneurship is one of the most important investments we can make in Indiana’s future, which is why it’s a key pillar of our 5E strategy,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers. “Congratulations to these risk takers, dreamers and innovators who are critical to driving our state’s economy.

The 2023 honorees are:  

  • Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Indy Power Products (Indianapolis)
    Founded by Nancy Ryder in 2020, Indy Power Products combines Nancy’s background in operations and marketing, with Jim Ryder’s technical expertise in automotive component design and manufacturing, to offer top-tier aftermarket automotive products and services. Their flagship products focus on the Ford 7.3L Godzilla Crate Engine. Nancy, Jim, and their team work to customize automotive engines for their clients’ personal performance needs. 
  • Innovative Small Business of the Year: ArcticRx – Ultra-Low Temperature Transport Technology (Anderson)
    The revolutionary pod poised to transform the way temperature-sensitive foods and medicines are shipped and stored. With impending regulations and environmental concerns regarding the use of Styrofoam, ArcticRx offers a game-changing alternative that is both efficient and sustainable. Say goodbye to oversized boxes requiring overhead doors or brittle polluting styrofoam,and hello to weeks of safe shipping without the need to plug it in or costly refrigerated transportation. A homegrown Hoosier company combining thermal engineering and refrigeration industry expertise, ArcticRx champions food and health equity with the most innovative passive cold-chain product in the last 50 years!
  • Family-Owned Small Business of the Year: Knightstown Locker (Knightstown)
    A valuable member of the community, Knightstown Locker, Inc. is family owned and operated and has been in business for 50+ years in its current location. Dan and Denise Titus and sons, Walker and Travis along with nephew Kyle Underwood run the day-to-day operations.  Knightstown Locker provides premium meat and chicken products to Hoosier families. The Locker has built its business on butchering and selling locally raised cattle and hogs. They pride themselves in retaining a small-town, family-business tradition while meeting the increasing demands of their customers.
  • Community Impact Small Business of the Year: J's Breakfast Club  (Gary) 
    Founded by Joslyn RW Kelly in 2015, J’s Breakfast Club is a casual dining experience focused on soulful home cooked breakfast in a family friendly environment. J’s Breakfast Club uplifts the community by spotlighting local small businesses on Saturdays, providing resources to seniors on Mondays, among several other outreach activities.
  • Small Business of the Year: WSI Technologies (Indianapolis)
    Founded in 1977, WSI Technologies is a leading hardware and software solutions provider for the public sector. Their innovative, user-friendly software solutions empower courts, public safety departments, and childcare agencies to preserve compliant communication processes while managing and gathering data to serve their clients.  
  • Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Paradise Spreads (Schererville) 
    Founded by Emily D. Edwards in 2018, Paradise Spreads makes the world’s only organic, sweet plant-based pea protein spreads and snacks that are gluten-free, healthy, and convenient. Emily is a social worker turned food entrepreneur that used, the memories from her mother’s kitchen and desire to help others, to create a food that can be enjoyed by everyone.   
  • Start-Up of the Year: The HiViz (Sunman) 
    Founded by Lisa Huston, The HiViz is a woman-owned and family-run apparel business that creates high-quality innovative uniforms. Lisa believes in the importance of diversity and individuality when building strong teams thus she created uniforms that could accomplish that.