In May 1983, the Indianapolis Economic Growth Initiative debuted as the economic development arm of Indianapolis Project, Inc. (IPI), a public relations and image-building organization. It was developed by the City of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Chamber Of Commerce, with approval from the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (Gipc).

Five months after its debut, the Indianapolis Economic Growth Initiative spun off from IPI into an independent, not-for-profit organization known as Indianapolis Growth Project (IGP), Inc. Confusion caused by nearly identical names—Indianapolis Project, Inc. and Indianapolis Growth Project, Inc.— led IGP to change its name to the Indianapolis Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) in 1984.

IEDC’s mission was to provide the Indianapolis community with increased, long-term economic growth and quality employment through the attraction, expansion, and retention of business and industry. This work was supported by public and private funding sources, including the City of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and the Corporate Community Council.

Throughout the 1990s, IEDC regularly competed with other economic development agencies in central Indiana for new businesses and projects. This situation created distrust among some of these organizations and occasionally resulted in lost opportunities for the entire region.

During the first year of his administration, Mayor Bart Peterson suggested the creation of a regional economic development organization to replace IEDC and similar agencies. In November 2000, the Indianapolis Regional Economic Development Partnership was formed to serve multiple counties in Central Indiana. The organization shortened its name to Indy Partnership in September 2001.

In 2007, Indy Partnership merged with Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (Cicp). The agency retained its name and continued its regular day-to-day operations of promoting Central Indiana to businesses. CICP supported Indy Partnership by providing financial resources to the organization.

After its stint under CICP’s umbrella, Indy Partnership merged with Develop Indy in 2011. Originally known as Indianapolis Economic Development, Inc., Develop Indy was established as Marion County’s economic development organization in 2007. At the time of its merger with Indy Partnership, the agency was operating as a private, not-for-profit with a board appointed by the mayor of Indianapolis.

Indy Partnership, Develop Indy, and Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana consolidated under the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce (Indy Chamber) in 2012. A major reason for this merger was city leaders’ desire to operate economic development efforts more efficiently.

Indy Partnership continues to operate as a business unit of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. The division promotes workforce, industry, and growth opportunities for nine Central Indiana counties: Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Morgan, and Shelby.

Revised June 2021

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