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Local entrepreneur says ‘user friendly’ INBiz made small business launch easier

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Indiana business portal, INBiz, has helped small businesses with tasks such as registering a business’s name to filing required paperwork since 2016.

One of those businesses, Bantam Diner, believes the service made the process of a launching a new business a bit more simple.

“We just went online and it was a simple step and just go online, go to inbiz and type in your information for your business and what you would like to do, it’s just very straight forward and easy to do and no hassle about it and very user friendly I think anyone can do it,” said Donte Shaw, Bantam Diner owner and chef.

Shaw, originally from the East Chicago/ Gary area, started as a line cook 17 years ago.

He never attended culinary school, instead training under chefs he worked with.

In June, Shaw started as a line cook at L Street Kitchen, located at 131 South Lafayette Boulevard in downtown South Bend.

“The owner of L Street Kitchen was opening it up and asked me to come on board to help so I was working at the Exchange, and he gave me the opportunity to do a popup at night,” Shaw said.

Bantam Diner opened its doors in November as an extended pop up restaurant, using L Street Kitchen’s space during the evening hours.

The “fine diner” is open during the evenings, from 4:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. while L Street Kitchen serves food during the day.

“Opening up a restaurant or operating a business, go ahead and give it a try. The one thing about it though is that we need to use more resources around us. When it comes to young entrepreneurs, that’s what downtown South Bend is looking for,” Shaw said.

INBiz provides Indiana business owners with a one-stop place for connecting with government offices, staying up to date on reporting requirements, remaining in compliance with state law.

For example, the Attorney General’s unclaimed property reporting requirement was placed on INBiz in 2018 and to date, has a nearly additional $40 million in revenue

When residents began calling INBiz with questions such as “What business should I form, an LLC or LLP?” which is legal advice the service could not provide, the service decided to adapt itself.

This need led to INBiz partnering with the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) to provide Indiana business owners hoping to launch or grow their business with free advice.

SBDC provides Indiana entrepreneurs with guidance and resources such as strategy development, market research, business planning, export assistance and valuation.

“I will most definitely be using the service in the future,” Shaw said.

In 2018, Indiana SBDC assisted 310 new businesses start, which led to the creation of 1,240 jobs. They hopes to increase this assistance in 2019.

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