More Businesses

Growing and Strengthening Businesses

This initiative relates to the MAP Initiative 1:  Linking Learning, Health, and Prosperity, which discusses needed actions to ensure the success of Muncie’s economy. It specifically relates to Action 2:  Create and Implement an economic development plan to expand the number of competitive-wage jobs. This initiative will support the MAP by encouraging entrepreneurship and supporting current businesses.


Residents expressed through a neighborhood survey and at the TPA Neighborhood Association meeting held on February 3, 2016 that the neighborhood was in need of businesses. Within the surveys, one individual expressed the desire for a taco or coffee shop within the area. Others did express the appreciation for the existing businesses, though.


In addition to neighborhood feedback, census data shows that 19.1% of the residents over the age of sixteen are unemployed. In comparison, using the same census data, this figure is significantly higher than the 7.2% unemployed in the United States, the 7.1% unemployed in Indiana, and the 7.0% unemployed in Delaware County. Consequently, the data suggests that this neighborhood is in need of employment opportunities.


Figure 1- Photo showing a commercial property for sale in TPA.  Source:


To encourage business growth, the neighborhood association could set up a meet-and-greet for individuals wanting to start their own businesses with the director of the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) using the contact number available under the resources section. The director will explain the assistance and guidance individuals can receive throughout the collaboration with ISBDC from coming up with business models to finding funding for their ventures.

The neighborhood may want to consider posting a map of available commercial properties, such as the map following this section entitled “For Sale Commercial Properties”, on the website along with property information. This map and information could also be available for public viewing at the Ross Center and Maring-Hunt Library.

The neighborhood may want to post on the website or publicly at the Ross Center a list of free business-related classes such as the computer basics course that the Maring-Hunt Library currently offers.

The Ross Center could host sessions for individuals interested in entrepreneurship to meet with local business owners as well as representatives from the Economic Development Alliance (EDA), Ivy Tech, and Ball State to share their ideas and ask for input. This could be an opportunity for mentorship between the new aspiring entrepreneurs and the business leaders in the community.

A campaign to encourage buying locally could occur within the neighborhood. Information on the benefits of buying from local businesses to cycle funds through the community instead of out of the community could be posted on the website and possibly on posters throughout the neighborhood.

Neighborhood business discount cards could be dispersed to residents in the neighborhood. These discount cards could encourage residents within the neighborhood to buy within their neighborhood versus outside due to the benefit unique to them.

The neighborhood could advertise the local businesses for free on the website as well as at the Ross Center and local libraries such as Maring-Hunt. The neighborhood could even create a neighborhood directory for residents to refer to when deciding where to make their purchases.


Figure 2-Image showing idea for business at the 1300 S. Hoyt Avenue location pictured in Figure 1. Source: Tiffany Gehrke


A committee consisting of representatives from TPA Neighborhood Association,  Maring-Hunt Library, the Ross Center, ISBDC, EDA, local banks, Ball State, Ivy Tech, and local businesses could be formed to ensure the best outcome. Each of these organizations can provide beneficial resources or insight for each project along the way. By including all of these, TPA will have the greatest likelihood to both grow and maintain its businesses.


The below map shows the locations of all properties zoned for commercial uses with a layer indicating properties for sale within the neighborhood. The zoning of each is shown by color to express what type of business is allowed on each site. In Muncie, any zone allows for all less intense usages and developments. For instance, the intense industrial zone will allow for all sites and usages allowed by the light industrial zones or even residential zones.


Figure 3- Source:  Tiffany Gehrke


Case studies

Hatch Detroit: The Neighborhood Initiative

Hatch Detroit, a local nonprofit in Detroit, Michigan, dedicated to assisting independent storefront retail, collaborated with the Detroit Lions to improve infrastructure near and around independent storefront retailers as well as improve the retailers themselves.

The collaboration began in 2013 and was set to be finalized in 2015 and ultimately spent an estimated $200,000 in the project. The goal of the initiative was to tackle six areas just outside of the downtown area. The projects included collaboration with consultants to address critical elements of retail success such as window displays, signage, packaging, branding, lighting, and website production. The projects also included street lights, parking lots, sidewalks, and alleys.

The goal of the project was to create a domino effect that would benefit even the surrounding retail establishments that did not receive the improvements. Since the beginning of the collaboration, new establishments such as the Royce Detroit has come to the area, and existing establishments are thriving as seen by the award-winning statuses that many are receiving.[1]


Figure 4- Photo from Case Study:  Hatch Detroit.  Source:

Look Local First Campaign

A campaign to promote local businesses began in February of 2014 in Greater Des Moines, Iowa. The campaign was created by the Greater Des Moines Partnership. The goal of the initiative is for the community to make a small shift in their spending habits (just 5%) which will create an over $1 billion economic impact for Greater Des Moines.

This initiative is promoted online with links to share how businesses and communities are shifting their purchases to local vendors.  The website also includes links to download artwork to print and post in windows of businesses. In addition, the website includes information on the benefits of buying locally and the detriments of not.

The Look Local First campaign also encourages organizations, businesses, and individuals to pledge to the campaign in order to further motivate the success of the operation. Once companies have pledged, their names and links to their websites are posted on the site for public review. Links to local resources are also provided on the site for convenient use by the community.[2]

This initiative has been awarded the 2015 ACE Award of Excellence.[3]


The Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber assists with building a network of businesses in community. Membership in the Chamber allows for marketing assistance, health insurance discounts, training and education, and business referrals.

To find out more about the Chamber of Commerce and becoming a member, please email or call Brenda Brumfield. Hours of operation are 8 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 5 pm Monday through Friday (closed on holidays).

Contact information

The Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce
401 S. High Street
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 751-9128
Fax: (765) 751-9151
Contact:  Brenda Brumfield, Director, Community and Government Relations

 Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance (EDA)
The EDA offers assistance with tax credits, financing, job training, and international trade.

To contact the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance, please email or call Traci Lutton. To find out more about what is available for your small business, please schedule a meeting in advance. Hours of operation are 8 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 5 pm Monday through Friday (closed on holidays).

For information on support provided to local existing and aspiring businesses, a list of links is provided on the website:

Contact information

Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance
401 S. High Street
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 751-9126
Contact:  Traci Lutton, Senior Project Director, Economic Development

 East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC)
To get support and guidance from the ISBDC, an aspiring business must first apply to become a client by clicking on the link on the website: In order to get the assistance from the ISBDC, one must first take a class that requires a $25 fee for the workbook. Once the class is completed, the aspiring entrepreneur will receive one-on-one counseling which includes assistance creating a business model and support in finding a loan provider. Success stories are provided on the website.

If residents of TPA would like to have Peggy Cenova speak to a group interested entrepreneurship, she can be reached by email or phone. She is more than willing to provide her support to the neighborhood. The office is open Monday through Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm (closed on holidays).

Contact information

East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC)
1208 W. White River Boulevard, Suite 126
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (866) 596-7232
Contact:  Peggy Cenova, Regional Director

 First County Federal Credit Union
The credit union provides mortgages, equity loans, personal loans, auto loans, and credit cards to qualified applicants. Please contact the credit union by phone or by visiting the location within the hours of operations (excluding Saturday which is for drive-up only) for more information about application and qualification.

The credit union is open Monday through Saturday with the following hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday     8:30am-5:00pm
Wednesday                                  9:00am-5:00pm
Friday                                            8:30am-6:00pm
Saturday                                       9:00am-noon  (Drive-up only)

Contact information

First County Federal Credit Union
1100 W. 11th Street
Muncie, IN 47302
Phone: (765) 284-3471
Loan Hotline: (765) 741-1856
Fax: (765) 282-3863

Additional websites of interest

[1] “The Neighborhood Initiative.” Hatch Detroit. Accessed March 11, 2016.

[2] “Look Local First.” Look Local First. Accessed March 11, 2016.

[3] “ACE Awards Gallery.” Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Accessed March 11, 2016. Awards&pos=20,10,532