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This week’s BE&O Show highlights tips on how to turn big events into big opportunities. Our team at WISH-TV recently took advantage of motor racing’s biggest month of the year.

Last week, friends and clients were invited for a behind-the-scenes look at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This opportunity allowed people to talk and get to know one another better.

Director of Sales at Circle City Broadcasting, Jason Hunter, says that people often do business with people they like and respect.

Opportunities like this one also allow you to thank your clients for doing business with you and allow them to talk about doing business with each other.

Networking is an important part of a business. Big events like this one give the chance to build new connections and strengthen old relationships.

It is also important to follow up with the connections you make at these events and to do it in a timely manner. If not, they may move on to the next.

Take advantage of opportunities to get to know people. When you get to know someone, you get to know more about how they like to do business.

The Office of Minority and Women Business Development gathered at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week to talk about ways to involve minorities, women, veterans, and disabled-owned businesses in public-private partnerships.

One of the biggest opportunities lies in the construction sector.

President of the Darden Group, an Executive Construction Management company, Akilah Darden, says during the month of May people are enthusiastic so why not bring them to the track to talk about being intentional with equitable opportunities for diverse vendors?

They brought developers and contractors who control the contract as well as diverse contractors to meet and formulate relationships. Then they learn their capacity and build a team around them to get the job done.

It doesn’t just include getting diverse vendors but also getting the workforce into the trades to help build it. It is important to find people that do things well and to get them to stay in the state of Indiana and give them equitable opportunities.

Another construction company, Nubian Construction, wants to not only build buildings but build people’s lives by giving them an opportunity to get engaged on projects and grow their company.

Having these big events allows an opportunity for everyone to get engaged in working with minority and women ran small businesses to come together and work on projects.

On Tuesday, the Indy Chamber, Hispanic Business Council gathered corporate and civic leaders from across the city to recognize five people paving the way for Hispanic progress.

Director of the Hispanic Business Council at Indy Chamber, Marcelo Montero, introduced some of the honorees.

One of them is Michelle Cox, CEO of Cox Residential Roofing, who explains as a Hispanic woman in business she wants to set an example for other Hispanic people and women to follow her business. Also, she wants to help change the way the Hispanic community is looked at when it comes to business.

The Hispanic Business Council hosts four events a year. The Conexion 5 for 500 is their main event with over 300 attendees.

Other events taking place this week in business include:

The 2023 Earth Day Indiana Festival, Saturday, June 3rd 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Garfield Park. The festival will include at least 110 exhibitors, live music, food trucks, a beer garden, and a place to meet and support other local businesses that are helping the environment.

Also, the Innopower minority week thinking session is June 13th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Martin University.

Our success story this week is about an Indiana florist who has decorated the necks of Indy 500 champions for 30 years and who opened her own shop on the strength of her floral talent.

Julie Vance is the owner of Buck Creek and Bloom, located in Yorktown, Indiana. In addition to creating her signature designs for local special occasions, she’s world-famous for assembling the iconic floral racing award.

It opened in November of 2007, but she has been doing flowers since 1988. She opened in her hometown and said she would not have started a flower shop if she didn’t have good design skills and knowledge of the business. She emphasized that it’s really hard work and you have to be really dedicated and put in long hours.

She has been the designer that has the privilege of making the Indianapolis 500 winners’ wreath. It is a Borg Warner tradition that the winner of the race is crowned with a wreath, drinks the milk, and then his face is put in silver on the Borg Warner trophy in the beginning.

Here at the shop, her signature look is probably what she calls her sticks because she uses a lot of natural vines and curly willow and pods and shelf mushrooms and moss and all those real natural things mixed in with the flowers and plants, which what sets them apart from others.

Her path to success was just hard work including work at many other flower shops. Julie just loved this kind of work and it was her artistic outlet, so she always knew she would like to be a flower shop owner.

Matthew B. Murphy III, co-founder and president of Emboss Partners, a consulting and capital acquisition firm, talks about how the lending market has changed and what the future may look like.

He highlights the changes in interest rates on lending money. For a long time, interest rates on lending money have been cheap and rates have shown little to no fluctuation over time. In the last couple of years, that has all changed.

Murphy explains that interest rates have increased and the rates are not as stable anymore. What may be affordable one day may not be the next.

The sensitivity of interest rates has forced both lenders and borrowers to ask more questions and spend more time planning. It is also important to have people to assist in planning, accountants, and financial professionals, that can give businesses the information they need.

Murphy says it is most important for business owners to plan, plan and plan. Be prepared to navigate the uncertainty of financial markets.

This week on The BE&O Show, Jimmie L. McMillan, Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Corporate Counsel of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, spoke on how their business units strive to be more inclusive.

One way McMillan accomplished this was with the plan titled “Race for Equity and Change.” He partnered with Roger Penske and Mark Miles with the idea to change motorsports.

Starting with their employees, McMillan created measurable goals in hiring, promotion development, and throughout their workforce.

Another way the Indy 500 became more inclusive was by partnering with minority and women-owned businesses.

The last way the Indy 500 has done more to become inclusive is by reaching out and inviting 10,000 new fans each year.

Their current goal for their developers and general contractors is to connect with their diverse group of construction vendors.

President and CEO of Fifth Third Bank, Tim Spence, gives insight into the health of regional banks and whether it could affect your ability to access capital.

On May 3rd, Fifth Third Bank celebrates “Fifth Third Day,” the third day of the fifth month, by volunteering in the community and reminding us about the importance of supporting one another. Spence emphasizes community as an important part of the success of banks.

Spence explains bank failures over the last month and a half that have resulted from a number of banks being more focused on the tech sector than the real economy.  “The good news for the system overall and in particular, the state of Indiana, is that the banks that are in operation in the Midwest were virtually unaffected,” Spence said.

The President and CEO emphasizes the importance of healthy and strong communities and customers.

Midwest banks benefit from this by having stable communities and customers that support and understand the importance of this.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrated National Small Business Month by recognizing the best in entrepreneurship with impact awards at a ceremony last week that took place at Colts Grid Iron Hall.

The event celebrates the impact small business has on Indiana.

The honors of the ceremony included: Small business of the year, a graduate of the year, small business person of the year, and small business administration’s exporter of the year.

SBA region five administrator, Gerry Sanchez Aglipay, was in attendance for the ceremony.

She emphasized the importance of small businesses and how they have created jobs and helped build back up the nation’s economy.

National Small Business Week, April 30. – May 6. is an important week for SBA. This week is used to honor small businesses for the contributions they make.

This Week in Business we talk about the booming businesses of peanut butter. It is booming in Portage, Indiana of all places!

The two people who know about it better than anyone are the creators of B-Nutty, Carol Pola and Joy Tompkins.

They came up with the idea after looking for a way to fundraise and teach kids not only about nutrition and fundraising but also to give them something good to eat on the field.

One thing they are doing now is expanding from once-a-year fundraisers to local farmers’ markets and grocery stores after many people fell in love with their fun flavors.

At the time, the goal was to just give their team something to snack on when traveling and to franchise with it. This ran once a year but has now increased to multiple times throughout the year. Take a look at the full interview above to learn more information about this company. It’ll sure drive you nuts, making you want another jar of B-Nutty peanut butter!

Some people prefer to lease a car or truck or home, while others want to own one.

You will likely face the same question either way, whether you buy, rent, or lease your location, equipment, and more.

Courtney Kincaid, president and CEO of the Indiana CPA Society has some thoughts.

People are still trying to find out what their needs are as they start new businesses that have popped up post-pandemic and commercial real estate and also the leasing or buying of equipment, leases, and purchases as well as how they are to be treated differently from a tax perspective.

There are many things to take into consideration when people are looking at property. For example, something that’s really good to think about is what are the short-term benefits and what are the long-term benefits because that will depend on different ways that you will make your decision.

When you think about leases, it might be financially beneficial in the short term, but when you think about tax implications or depreciation, purchasing things in the long term, you might have a better long-term outlook.

The tax implications for a property are not just commercial real estate.  A CPA is a really good partner and helps you understand ancillary costs related to that property that might also qualify for a deduction, as well as saying what would qualify.