GOSHEN — Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann made a stop in downtown Goshen on Tuesday, April 8, as part of a tour to meet with local entrepreneurs and small business owners.
After visiting Muncie earlier this week and South Bend on Tuesday, Ellspermann and her team from the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, a new state agency, checked out LaunchPad on the second floor of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce. Ellspermann told a group that gathered there that she was an at-home entrepreneur for 25 years.
“I never had access to a place like this, but how appropriate it is for young entrepreneurs to be able to network together, to build those relationships and partnerships that help you grow,” she said. “This space is such a wonderful example of that.”
The newly opened LaunchPad provides a space for startup companies and small businesses to get on their feet.
Rafael Barahona, owner of the web and graphic design company R3 Design, was working part-time from home and at coffee shops before signing up for a spot at LaunchPad. His business has gained enough traction that he will be able to dedicate more time to the company, he noted.
“LaunchPad is definitely a catalyst for that,” he said.
Goshen mayor Allan Kauffman commented that “a new generation of people came along in Goshen at exactly the right time.”
“We are fortunate in Goshen that we have built a stage over a period of years on which they can be successful,” he said.
Ellspermann said she senses optimism among small business owners, especially young professionals, that she has come across during her tour.
“We know that the state doesn’t create the jobs – you do,” she told the group. “And our job is to make that as easy as we can and help you connect the dots the best that we can.”
Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.