When Indiana’s Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith touts the advantages of doing business in Indiana, he just might be thinking of Richard and Carole Barnes, co-owners of Yale Business Center in historic downtown Hammond. In fact, Rich and Carole met with Smith several years ago when he talked about blitzing Chicago businesses with Indiana’s advantages. Now they own not just one building in Hammond, but two and join other Hammond pioneers in promoting the downtown. Still this dynamic team is putting their own stamp on economic development. Helped by a fact-filled web page promoting doing business in Hammond, Rich and Carole both grew up here, later married and are helping to bring new life to the downtown. Through Yalebiz.com, these creative entrepreneurs have brought 4 Chicago businesses to their 8-story building. With 92% occupancy, they acquired another one-story 4,000 sq. ft. building. Standing vacant for 5 years, the building is two-thirds occupied. Rich, who was inducted in 2006 and is a Society Board Governor, and Carole are also supporters of the arts. Yale Business Center is the corporate sponsor of The Andrews Sisters launched by The Towle Theater. Dr. Barnes also noted that a new production and beer-pub facility has been opened for the 18th Street Brewery in downtown Hammond. Adding that Mayor McDermott hopes to move City Hall to the downtown, Rich and Carole are bullish about their hometown.