This post is part of a series of profiles and timely updates on local business communities.
Hamilton County, Indiana has a population of approximately 275,000 and is considered part of the Indianapolis, Indiana metropolitan area. While the county seat is Noblesville, many wealthy individuals associated with Indiana business reside in the county. The cities of Carmel, Westfield, and Fishers are all within Hamilton County. Large public firms, including CNO Financial Group, RCI, Navient, Roche, and Kar Auctions are large employers within Hamilton County. I-465 and I-65 run the south and southeast borders. Both Geist and Morse Reservoirs have shorelines within the county. North of the densely populated residential areas is flat to gently rolling farmland.
Most heavy industrial applications of the Indianapolis-metro area are located south of Hamilton County. Residential neighborhoods surround retail, medical, and professional office parks. A handful of light industrial firms are tucked off the larger thoroughfares. Technology and specialty finance companies are scattered throughout.
As of October 2020, many office parks remain less than full of workers. Many work-from-home policies are scheduled to persist through year-end. Specialty retail and restaurants were sputtering toward full capacity as residents attempted to venture out more.
Our featured small business of the quarter is TVF of Carmel, IN. The company was formerly known as Top Value Fabrics. The firm underwent an ESOP in 2010, led by Chris Fredericks. The reason to highlight the firm this quarter is their launch of Empowered Ventures. Empowered Ventures is an employee-owned acquisition holding company “wedged in as the parent company,” says Fredericks. He also indicates it’s “an ESOP in a box.” The hold co, which is also employee-owned, intends to buy other small businesses and transition their teams into employee-owners. This will ease the burden on the seller but provide a very long term ownership situation.