Lawrence, Indiana is somewhat of a geographic center point for business in the Midwest. The small town is located on the east side of Indiana state capital Indianapolis, only about twenty minutes from the Indianapolis International Airport. And being in the center of Indiana means that Lawrence is virtually the center of the entire region; the town is only a few hours away from the major business centers of Chicago, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Columbus; it’s also close enough to the Circle City to be considered a part of the thriving Indianapolis business scene. Combine its geographic location with the expansive Lawrence parks system and the high quality of Lawrence schools, and it’s no wonder that more and more business are trying to become Lawrence businesses.
As a former Army base (Fort Harrison State Park is located on the site of Fort Benjamin Harrison), Lawrence is one of the most ethnically diverse small towns in the Hoosier State. In a state where most towns have a 98% or more white population, Lawrence clocked in at only 78% in the 2000 census. This wanton diversity (for Indiana) is reflected in the large number of locally owned and operated Lawrence businesses. Lawrence has over twice as many minority-owned businesses than the Indiana average, and it has 38% more businesses owned by women. Not only that, but there are 14 home-grown ethnic Lawrence restaurants, including Bando’s Restaurant, Hisago, and Ma Ma’s House, quite a large number for a town of Lawrence’s size. Lawrence business comes from a variety of different backgrounds, traditions, and cultures.
Downtown Lawrence is the hub of commerce for this small Indy suburb. Crowded with shops, Lawrence bars, and specialty restaurants, downtown Lawrence is a good place to walk around and see the sights. A quieter contrast to the hustle and bustle of downtown Indianapolis, downtown Lawrence can provide a relaxing afternoon of Lawrence shopping. Here you can find quaint gifts and antique furniture right next to vintage antique stores and delicious restaurants. The downtown sector is certainly a Lawrence attraction in its own right, making the center of town a center of Lawrence business.
The governing body behind the explosion of business in Lawrence is none other than the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. This government organization, active since 1984, encourages and provides support to area businesses through a number of Lawrence events, growth opportunities, and promotional programs. Networking events run through the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce include “Business After Hours,” a relaxed social event to keep members up to date on Lawrence news, and “Business Breakfasts,” a full fledged event featuring delicious food, networking time, and a keynote speaker.
The Chamber also sponsors annual Lawrence events like the Health, Wellness, and Fitness Fair, bowling tournaments, golf at the Fort Golf Course, and more. The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce also helps its members with marketing; the organization runs a monthly online newsletter, chock full with advertising space and Indianapolis news. Members can also advertise on the Chamber website and on local Lawrence media like the Eastside Voice. With a sponsorship from Ivy Tech Community College, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce is sure to be a driving force in Lawrence business for many years to come.
While Lawrence business might not be as heavy hitting as its big city neighbor, its geographic location at the heart of the Midwest combined with its friendly environment, excellent schools, and spacious parks system have allowed the small town to boom with commerce. There’s a business for every need in Lawrence, so you’re sure to find a locally owned shop, store, or company that can help you out. With an ethnically diverse population and the efforts of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, this Indianapolis satellite seems poised for business greatness.
Greater Lawrence Chamber of Commerce
9120 Otis Ave, Ste 100
Lawrence, IN 46216