UK’s CEDIK and KSBDC to offer services to Kentucky’s Promise Zone

  • By creekmoremarketing
  • 31 Jul, 2015


President Barack Obama has named eight counties in southeastern Kentucky as one of the first Promise Zones, a 10-year designation to focus resources and expertise on communities where, as he said during the announcement, “no matter how hard you work, your destiny feels like it’s already been determined for you before you took that first step.”

The  University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment , through its Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky  and its Small Business Development Center will be among the implementation partners working with the project administrator,  Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation , to help improve the economy, health and education in Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Perry and Whitley counties. The counties were hard hit by the coal industry decline.

The partnership is the continuation of what has historically been a highly successful relationship.

“We’ve worked with Kentucky Highlands in the past on regional economic development initiatives,” said Alison Davis, CEDIK executive director. “Their CEO Jerry Ricketts and all their development staff are wonderful. They have tremendous passion for improving all the communities they serve.”

CEDIK staff will be focusing on several aspects of what everyone hopes will be a better future for southeastern Kentucky. Davis and UK Community and Leadership Development Professor Lori Garkovich will jump in almost immediately by leading government officials, small-business owners, nonprofit organizations and local citizens in the designated counties through strategic planning with a “bottom-up” approach.

“We really want to know what the communities hope to get from this opportunity; where they see the future, what types of resources and assets they think they have and how they can build on them,” Davis said.

She said they also plan to help implement a revised American Private Enterprise System in the zone’s school systems over the next five years. Led by the college’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Assistant Dean Quentin Tyler, director of the Office of Diversity, the program’s objectives are to increase students’ knowledge of domestic and global economies and prepare them for an active role in business. In addition, CEDIK will create youth civic engagement leadership programs in at least two counties.

The new leadership program, currently being piloted in Bath County, is designed to guide young people through the intricacies of local and state government and introduce them to the importance of entrepreneurship to their local economy. Another program goal is to create vibrant communities by promoting better health and community arts initiatives.

“By the end of the program, these kids will have a better understanding of their community, the opportunities as well as the obstacles,” Davis said. “We want the youth to help create a place where others would want to live and raise their children.”

In partnership with the Small Business Development Center, CEDIK will also be working with select firms in their early-growth phase on a program called Economic Gardening, which was designed by the Edward Lowe Foundation. The program provides intensive business counseling to a firm’s leaders that includes identifying and prioritizing business opportunities, refining a company’s core business strategies and using social media to connect with customers.

Finally, CEDIK staff will be continuing their efforts in the community health arena by working with the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health to assist hospitals and health providers in implementing strategies that address the health needs in their communities.

“I believe this (the Promise Zones program) can make a difference if it is a bottom-up approach, where the communities themselves and the local leaders determine what’s best for their unique assets,” Davis said. “I think the emphasis on youth and the emphasis on a diversified economic portfolio will make a difference.”

The Obama administration named five of what will ultimately be 20 Promise Zones; the other four are in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Antonio and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Alison Davis, 859-257-7260

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By Robbi Meisel 21 Mar, 2017
WASHINGTON – Kentucky businesses and residents affected by severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, winds and hail from Feb. 28 through March 1, 2017 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Linda E. McMahon announced today.

McMahon made the loans available in response to a letter on March 16 from Michael E. Dossett, Authorized Representative of Gov. Matthew Bevin, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Estill County and the adjacent counties of Clark, Jackson, Lee, Madison and Powell in Kentucky.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Kentucky with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said McMahon. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

SBA’s customer service representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.

The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated:
Estill County
Estill Development Alliance
177 Broadway Street
Irvine, Kentucky 40336

Opening: Thursday, March 23
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Days: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Closed: Sunday, March 26
Closing: Thursday, March 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may now include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 3.15 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.875 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at .

Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing Loan applications can also be downloaded at . Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to submit applications for physical property damage is May 19, 2017 . The deadline for economic injury applications is Dec. 20, 2017.

For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit their website at .
By Robbi Meisel 27 Feb, 2017

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Feb. 14, 2017) – Kentucky Small Business Development Center is seeking nominations for the 2017 Pacesetter Awards. The recognition program was created to honor high performing, second-stage businesses that are changing Kentucky’s economic landscape. The deadline to submit nominations is March 15.

KSBDC encourages small businesses that meet the following minimum qualifications to apply:

         ·  Privately held

         · In business for three or more years

         · Employ six or more full-time employees, including the owner

         ·  Annual sales meet or exceed $500,000

         · Located and headquartered in Kentucky

         ·Demonstrate the intent and capacity to grow evidenced by the judging criteria.

Pacesetters will be selected based on two or more of the following criteria:

         · Growth in the number of employees

         ·Increase in sales and/or unit volume

         · Innovativeness of the product or service

         ·Response to adversity

         ·Employee engagement and commitment

         ·Contributions by the nominee to aid community-oriented projects

Pacesetters will be recognized at the Kentucky Celebrates Small Business event held at the Capitol rotunda in Frankfort during the first week of May. Each honoree will receive an award inscribed with the business’s name and a promotional video for their own use that highlights the business. In addition, KSBDC will send a customized press release announcing the award to local media and trade associations. Honorees are given the rights to use the Kentucky Pacesetter logo and event photographs in promoting their business.

Anyone may submit nominations, including third parties associated with an eligible second-stage business. A business may self-nominate by completing the required form. Winners will be notified by March 27. Full nomination requirements and the application are online at .

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 12 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. More information on KSBDC services can be found on their website, .


Writer: Roberta Meisel, 859-257-0104


UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.




By Robbi Meisel 20 Feb, 2017
MURRAY, Ky., (Feb. 2017) — Chris Wooldridge, Kentucky Small Business Development Center district director for the Murray State University SBDC and Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, has joined the board of directors of the Foundation for Kentucky Industry.

FKI is a statewide, not-for-profit, with the goal of strengthening manufacturing in Kentucky, a very important economic driver in the commonwealth. FKI’s Board of Directors is comprised of manufacturing, education, economic development and public policy leaders.
Project and program partners currently include LIFT (Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow), JPMorgan Chase, KY FAME (Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education), business and public partners.

“We are pleased to announce Chris Wooldridge, District Director of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center at the Murray State University Bauernfeind College of Business, will be joining the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Kentucky Industry. Mr. Wooldridge’s experience and expertise regarding business and economic development will be a great asset to the Foundation’s work of maximizing career opportunities for both Kentuckians and industry in 21st century manufacturing,” according to Mary C. Breeding, President and CEO, Foundation for Kentucky Industry (FKI).

About Murray State University SBDC: Murray State University hosts the West Kentucky Region of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center program.  KSBDC is a network of 12 offices located throughout the state that helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. The KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website, .
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