Indy program aims to boost disabled entrepreneurs

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Indianapolis now has an ordinance on the books that's aimed at boosting the number of businesses owned by people with disabilities that win city contracts.

Mayor Greg Ballard signed a City-County Council ordinance into law Thursday that creates the city's new Disability Business Enterprise program. That program sets a 1 percent goal for city and county spending on businesses owned by entrepreneurs with disabilities.

Ballard says it will "encourage those who never thought possible the dream of starting a successful business" to seek a piece of city public works projects and contracts for goods and services.

U.S. Census Bureau figures show that one in five Indianapolis residents has a disability, but 70 percent of them live in poverty and only 18 percent are employed.

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