Business Briefs – June 5



April unemployment rate decreases

GREENFIELD — Hancock County’s unemployment rate is down from the same time last year.

Recently released data shows April’s unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, down from 4.7 percent in April 2014.

About 35,000 residents were employed in April, while about 1,500 in the county were unemployed. In 2014, about 34,500 residents were employed, and about 1,700 were unemployed.

The county’s rate fares well compared to nearby counties. Hamilton and Boone counties saw 3.1 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, unemployment rates in April.

Shelby, Henry and Rush counties all had higher unemployment rates than Hancock. Shelby and Rush counties’ rates were 4.2 percent, and Henry’s was 5.1 percent.

Data is compiled by Indiana Workforce Development.

Housing data reveals increase in sales

HANCOCK COUNTY — A one-month review of local housing data shows an increase in closed sales, sales prices and additional new listings in Hancock County when compared to the same period in 2014.

Median sales prices rose 15 percent in April compared to last year, and average sales prices increased 3.6 percent in April.

The current average sales price for homes in Hancock County is $154,855.

According to the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors, closed sales rose 5.8 percent in April but decreased by 3.4 percent in the three months ending in April.

In central Indiana, new listings increased by 6.3 percent; pending sales increased by 13.5 percent; average sales price increased by 6.2 percent to $182,931 and closed sales increased by 12.8 percent.

Commerce chamber sets conferences

INDIANAPOLIS —The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has scheduled a variety of conferences about workplaces matters for June.

The June 12 Family and Medical Leave Act seminar will cover the ins and outs of FMLA as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act. Topics include the impact of FMLA and ADA on absenteeism, FMLA abuse, returning from leave, birth and adoption, plus qualifications for leave.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration record keeping and reporting conference June 19 will highlight the importance of keeping records and filing reports, the OSHA method for injury and illness record keeping and the difference between OSHA record keeping and worker’s compensation. Discussion of the new OSHA requirements is also on the agenda.

Both of these events take place at the Indiana Chamber Conference Center, 115 W. Washington St., Indianapolis.

The annual worker’s compensation conference on June 24 highlights issues such as the evolution of worker’s compensation, rethinking return-to-work programs, recent judicial decisions and how to present a winning case to the Worker’s Comp Board. It takes place at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, One S. Capitol Ave.

Cost to attend each event is $299 per person for Indiana Chamber members or $329 for nonmembers. Group discounts and continuing education credits are available.

Register online at or by calling 800-824-6885.

Cynthia’s boutique to welcome artist

GREENFIELD — Jim Shore, an artist whose work includes Peanuts, River’s End, Disney Traditions and Rudolph Traditions, will be at Cynthia’s Hallmark and Boutique in Greenfield on June 20 to meet residents.

The visit is part of a coast-to-coast tour from April to December.

The store will be selling pieces to be signed by Shore that day.

The event is from noon to 2 p.m. at 1584 N. State St.

Nursing facility gets new management

GREENFIELD — Carrie VanVelse is the new administrator at Sugar Creek Nursing and Rehab.

She’s been involved in long-term care for 10 years and graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology in 2004. She received a master’s degree in social work in 2007.

She began in March and has lived in Greenfield since 2010.