It has been a tough week to be part of the Indianapolis business community and watch our beloved city criticized in the national news.
Our role as a nonprofit is not to delve into the debate and merits of recently signed law SB 101, also known as “RFRA”. In fact, by IRS rules, we cannot lobby or have an agenda related to legislation.
However, we created our programs and mission to help Indianapolis grow. That growth can be through improving fitness, building relationships amongst peers and shaping the definition of community partnership. Part of our mission is to foster and create a culture of “mutual respect for one another,” something that through both reality and perception, this new law directly challenges.
Our growth over the last year has been directly attributed to the thriving business community in Central Indiana. That growth has included us exporting Kids Riding Bikes to Portland, Oregon, growing the number of communities we serve, and recently announcing that we are hiring new staff to support our expanding operations here in Central Indiana.
To be clear, this law is bad for business in Indiana. The backlash from across the country highlights that this is damaging to the economic strength of our beloved Indianapolis and more importantly, threatens future investment into our community from outside parties.
I have chosen for a variety of reasons to make Indianapolis the national headquarters for Nine13sports as we expand into new markets. I’ve pledged to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation that as our growth continues at projected rates that we will have more than 30 employees in newly created jobs over the next five years. I believe Indianapolis is one of the best cities for young professionals, twenty-something dreamers, and those that truly want to make an impact on their community.
However, I can only grow our organization if the broader business sector in Indianapolis continues to grow as well.
We are proud to follow the lead of Mayor Ballard, the Indiana Chamber, the Indianapolis Chamber, some of Indiana’s largest employers and academic institutions, faith leaders and thousands of Hoosiers who oppose this law and the damage it has created for both residents and businesses.
We want Indiana to be a place that welcomes all people who want to work hard and help grow the economy.