Greenwood will be the first community to join a state effort to make setting up new businesses easier.

The city is partnering with the Indiana Secretary of State’s new INBiz website, which allows businesses to get permits and licenses online, instead of having to visit state offices to file needed paperwork. In the next few months, businesses coming to Greenwood alsowill be able to use the website to file for permits the city requires.

The goal is to make it easier for businesses to open and operate in the city, Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers said in his annual state of the city address.

Speaking to a crowd of business owners, lawmakers and community members at the Valle Vista Golf and Conference Center on Thursday, Myers highlighted some of the city’s key achievements of the past year, including new businesses coming to the Greenwood, downtown redevelopment and an array of street and infrastructure projects.

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INBiz, a website run by the secretary of state’s office that allows businesses owners to file state paperwork online, is being expanded to partner with cities, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said. Greenwood will be the first city to test out the new system when it is ready later this year, she said. Greenwood was chosen as a partner because the growth in the city allows it to serve as a good test before other cities are invited to join, Lawson said.

Currently, business owners required to get a permit to construct a new building, erect a sign or get approval to have a certain amount customers inside their facility, they must download and fill out a paper form, which they would then send to the city’s office.

Once the new system is in place, a Greenwood business owner wanting to file for a permit will be able to go online to either INBiz or the Greenwood city website and fill out a form. The system saves time by making sure business owners are sending all of the necessary information to the city and are informed about all of the steps needed for a permit to be approved, said Jim Obermaier, the INBiz program manager.

The new system will be a big time saver for businesses. The less time business owners are required to spend filling out government paperwork is more time they have to focus on making their business grow, Greenwood Chamber of Commerce President Christian Maslowski said.

Switching over to electronic filing also gives business owners the opportunity to do their paperwork at any time, rather than having to take time out of their day during the city’s office hours. The new system also will ease the burden on city employees, making it easier to track and respond to permits and give them more time for other tasks, Myers said.

Greenwood’s success in attracting major businesses was something Myers highlighted in his state of the city address.

The city is attracting enough new businesses that it can be selective in the ones that receive tax breaks, Myers said, citing FedEx and Newgistics, which are investing a total of nearly $300 million and bringing about 675 jobs to the city in the coming years.

Progress also is being made in revitalizing the downtown area, Myers said. A renovated community center and a new trail along Pleasant Creek are two of the projects completed, with others set to begin this spring, including improvements to a section of Madison Avenue north of Main Street, a new road connecting Market Plaza and Surina Way, and a new parking lot north of Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic Church, he said.

The city also is looking into locations to build a new fire station, which would replace Fire Station 93 on Stop 18 Road west of U.S. 31. The plan is to purchase land for the station later this year, Myers said.

The city also plans to widen Stop 18 Road and add a new trail west of U.S. 31.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.