A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rural Blog: Kentucky small business Tree of the Field wins first Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition

Tree of the Field, a Kentucky company that produces environmentally friendly products, won the first-ever Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition earlier this month. The contest was held in conjunction with the 2019 Shaping Our Appalachian Region Summit, and was presented by SOAR, the USDA Rural Development, and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s Innovation Office, according to the...

Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Terry Gill resigns, Gov. Bevin recommends Sarin as interim

Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesday accepted with regret the resignation of Terry Gill, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, effective at the end of May. Terry Gill “The impact that Terry’s leadership has had on the economy of our commonwealth cannot be overstated,” Gov. Bevin said. “He brought to our economic development efforts the perspective of a business executive who knows...

High-tech Kentucky businesses awarded more than $2 million in state matching funds for growth, jobs

Ten high-tech Kentucky companies will receive $2.18 million in state matching funds to promote growth and job creation in high-paying research and technological fields, from disease research to water treatment. The Kentucky grants match in part the recently announced $5.1 million in federal grants the businesses will collectively receive. “SBIR/STTR funds are a vital component in launching and growing...

Harless, Cooper travel to China for economic development meetings with Shanying International

Paducah Mayor Brandi Harless and Ballard County Judge-Executive Todd Cooper are heading to China on Jan. 17 for three days of meetings with Shanying International Holdings, the parent company for Global Win and Phoenix Paper. Shanying invited Harless and Cooper to attend a conference for global employees, business partners, government officials and guest speakers. In August 2018, Global Win signed...

2018 was good year for investment in Kentucky — $5.3B in 374 individual projects, 14,500 full-time jobs

Companies pledged nearly $5.3 billion in expansions and new facility locations throughout Kentucky this year, making 2018 the second-highest in state history for corporate investment, Gov. Matt Bevin announced today. From those investments spanning 374 individual projects, businesses plan to create more than 14,500 full-time jobs in the coming years. The state’s 2018 performance brings the Bevin...

Opportunity Zones workshop set for Tuesday in Somerset; state officials to share latest information

Opportunity Zones are expected to have a great impact on the future of economic development in Kentucky. A workshop has been scheduled for Tuesday in Somerset to help community and business leaders and others take advantage of this new economic development tool. Representatives from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Department for Local Government will be present to provide an update...

U.S. Department of Commerce selects Governor Matt Bevin to lead January economic mission to India

The U.S. Department of Commerce has selected Gov. Matt Bevin to lead an economic development delegation to India in mid-January to attend the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019, also providing an opportunity to discuss and promote Kentucky as a must-see location for corporate investment and job growth. The delegation, which includes the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) and co-leaders of the Kentucky...

Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development executives featured at Venture Connectors lunch

On Oct. 3 in Louisville, Venture Connectors will feature Terry Gill, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, and Brian Mefford, executive director of the Cabinet’s Office of Entrepreneurship, and they will share how their office is working to cultivate programs and support for the commonwealth’s entrepreneurs, small business owners and startups. The Office of Entrepreneurship...

Governor creates Economic Opportunity Commission to help ‘disadvantaged’ access growing opportunities

Gov. Matt Bevin has created an Economic Opportunity Commission, which will be attached to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development (KCED). The new Commission combines the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs and the Governor’s Minority Employment, Business Affairs and Economic Development Council. The Economic Opportunity Commission will consist of 12 voting members appointed by the Governor,...

State to employ new stategy in attracting innovative new high-tech startups, assisting small businesses

To better serve, attract and develop innovators and startups, Kentucky will deploy a new regional approach to developing high-tech, high-potential-growth businesses, while continuing to assist small businesses seeking support. KY Innovation, the state’s recently launched initiative supporting businesses founders and growing companies, will soon begin implementing Regional Innovation for Startups...

Kentucky chosen for prestigious entrepreneurship development program — MIT REAP

Kentucky has been chosen as one of nine regional members in the 6th Cohort of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Regional Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program. MIT REAP, an initiative of MIT Sloan Global Programs, is an intensive process designed to engage partners from throughout the state in developing a plan to support entrepreneurs. “We are thrilled to have been selected,” said Luke...

U of L’s Ichor, Pikeville’s K2 Medical take home top honors at Idea State U competition

A product that helps top athletes bounce back through cold therapy and a startup working on an innovative way to assist first responders in lifting patients each won first-place prizes at the 11th annual Idea State U finals in Lexington. Idea State U, a statewide business concept competition, encourages entrepreneurship and innovation among Kentucky’s college and university students. This year’s...

Cynthiana’s E-Z Pack Refuse Hauling Solutions plans $6.8 million expansion, to create 100 new jobs

E-Z Pack Refuse Hauling Solutions LLC, a manufacturer of commercial truck bodies, will invest more than $6.85 million and create 100 jobs with an expansion at its Harrison County facility. E-Z Pack’s parent company, Commercial Specialty Truck Holdings LLC (CSTH), is negotiating to purchase the 350,000-square-foot facility where it has operated the past dozen years, as the company currently leases...

Gov. Bevin: Kentucky Opportunity Zone Initiative holds promise of economic growth for local communities

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Monday the U.S. Department of the Treasury certified 144 Opportunity Zones in 84 Kentucky counties under a program in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that aims to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. Gov. Bevin The designation offers significant federal tax breaks and deferrals to entities and individuals investing in Opportunity...

Amazon names 20 finalists for HQ2, Cincinnati/NKY, not on the list; Columbus, OH, Indianapolis are

Amazon has announced 20 finalists to be the host region for its second world headquarters, HQ2 and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky was not among those chosen, but Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis did make the cut. There was a strong presence of cities/regions in the Midwest and on the East Coast, with Denver and Los Angeles the only U.S. locations west of the Rockies named as finalists. Amazon accepted...

Packaging manufacturer Takigawa Corp. Japan to establish first U.S. operation in Bardstown

Takigawa Corp. Japan, a flexible packaging and high-performance films producer, will create 180 full-time jobs with a nearly $46 million investment to locate a manufacturing operation in Bardstown, its first in the United States. “After conducting a lengthy national site selection process, Takigawa is excited to have selected Bardstown, Kentucky as the home of our new US facility,” said Hiroyuki...

ABB Optical Group announces plans for new $27 million Northern Kentucky distribution center

ABB Optical Group, a distributor of optical products, has chosen Florence for its new distribution center and optical laboratory. The company plans to invest as much as $27 million in the project, which is expected to create up to 223 full-time jobs. “To better serve our customers, we are expanding our footprint in the central part of the United States,” said Brad Weinbrum, president of ABB Optical...

Murray State University’s Kentucky Innovation Network earns award from technology institute

Murray State University’s Kentucky Innovation Network was recently recognized as a Creating a Better Future award winner by the State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI) for its The Next Big Thing (NBT) young entrepreneurial competition. With support from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the Kentucky Innovation Network office at Murray State University created NBT. Working with...

Wisdom Tree Technologies awarded contracts to support Kentucky Air National Guard, U.S. Army

Wisdom Tree Technologies LLC (WTT) has been awarded a contract with the Kentucky Air National Guard (KYANG) in Louisville to provide operational management support to the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron (STS). WTT’s work with the 123rd STS will see the company take on the role of coordinating the missions and activities of the 123rd across the Continental United States, requiring a wide knowledge...

Following devastating 2016 fire, Blue Grass Stockyards resumes business in new facility

A 70-year Lexington tradition, interrupted by a devastating fire in January 2016, will be back in business next week, as sales begin at the new Blue Grass Stockyards in Fayette County. Mayor Jim Gray, Councilmembers and members of the Blue Grass Stockyards family cut a ribbon to officially open the new facility Friday. “This is a proud day in our city,” Gray said. “This $600-million-a-year business,...