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Lawmakers In Small Business Caucus Plan Statewide Meetings

State Senator Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, says small businesses are underrepresented at the statehouse, even though many lawmakers own their own businesses.

Carlin Yoder

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

State Sen. Carlin Yoder owns the Danceworks Academy in Middlebury. He's the co-chair of a new caucus to represent small business interests.

Lawmakers in the Indiana General Assembly have formed a small business caucus they say will help connect with the state’s small business owners on a more personal level.

State Senator Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, is the owner of a small business, the Danceworks Academy, in Middlebury. He is also the co-chair of the newly-formed Small Business Caucus in the General Assembly. He says he helped start the caucus because he thought lawmakers take for granted that small businesses would be well-represented in the Statehouse, considering many legislators are small business owners themselves.

“But I think sometimes they don’t have the power of the Statehouse lobbyists or other interests that can influence legislation,” Yoder says. “I think this legitimizes some of their issues that they may not have been able to approach beforehand.”

Anderson Democratic Representative Terri Austin, another co-chair, says the caucus will hold more than a dozen meetings in communities around the state in the coming weeks to reach out to small business owners.

“To send a message that they matter, that we’re interested in what they have to say and we want to learn what we can do collectively, as a body, to better support them,” Austin says. “And the best way to do that was to go to their communities.”

Austin says one of the issues the caucus is already working on is potential changes to the unemployment tax.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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