Ballard signs ordinance to empower disabled business owners

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INDIANAPOLIS – A new ordinance hopes to encourage more disabled business owners to set up shop in Indianapolis.

Mayor Greg Ballard signed City-County Council Proposal 289 into law Thursday.

Authored by City-County Council President Maggie Lewis, the measure creates a Disability Business Enterprise program modeled after similar business enterprise programs for minorities, women and veterans. It establishes a one-percent goal for city and county spending with Disability Business Enterprises.

“This ordinance sends the strong message that entrepreneurship is a career choice available to individuals with disabilities,” said Mayor Ballard.  “We intend this ordinance to encourage those who never thought possible the dream of starting a successful business, that it is possible in Indianapolis and this city wants you to succeed.”

According to the U.S. Census, one in five Indianapolis residents has a disability. About 70 percent live in poverty and just 18 percent are employed, according to census figures.

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