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A local entrepreneur has been honored by a public/private partnership that supports Indiana businesses.
Billie Chisman, owner of On the Spot Catering, a 48-foot food trailer, was named Small Business Person of the Year by the Southeast Indiana Small Business Development Center.
Chisman won one of 10 awards from among 70 nominations of businesses in 12 Indiana counties.
Chisman runs five businesses, all located at Camp Atterbury.
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The April launch of her food trailer, pulled by a pickup truck, allowed Chisman to cater local and regional events including weddings, fundraisers and business functions. The trailer features a sandwich station, fryers, grills, convection ovens, a freezer, a half-bath and a stereo system.
Chisman got the idea of launching a food truck from watching shows on the Food Network and seeing the popularity of such businesses in cities including Indianapolis.
However, Columbus city ordinance does not allow food trucks in most downtown areas. So her trailer functions simply as a catering vehicle, which falls outside the city ordinance.
Chisman said she did not expect the recognition.
“Honestly, I thought it was a hoax when they called me,” she said. “I was very humbled and very honored.”
Chisman said that she is considering buying a smaller truck that she may be able to eventually use within city limits, but she is also trying to secure a banquet facility or launch a restaurant, hopefully by the middle of next year.
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