Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 8, 2013

A chance to learn

Small businesses can benefit greatly by attending seminar

The Independent

ASHLAND — For those who own a small business or are thinking of owning one, attending a March 21 seminar at the FIVCO Area Development District office in EastPark may prove to be among the most valuable three hours they will ever spend.

Sponsored by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the area “Kentucky: Here We Grow” seminar is one of 15 the Cabinet is planning at the state’s development districts’ offices during the next six months. Registration is free and at the door. In short, all one has to do to take advantage of the seminar is show up at the FIVCO‚Äąoffices at 1 p.m. March 21. The FIVCO offices are in EastPark off the Northeast Kentucky Industrial Parkway.

 The seminars are designed to educate small-business owners and entrepreneurs on the resources available to them. In turn, the Cabinet hopes those attending the seminars will use what they learn to either expand their business or to launch a new business.

“These seminars provide a great opportunity for business owners to get their arms around the wealth of programs that can help grow their businesses, whether start-ups or existing operations,” said Larry Hayes, secretary of the Cabinet. “The Cabinet and its partners are able to assist small businesses with everything from exporting, to accessing loans, tax credits and government procurement to almost everything in between.”

The Cabinet’s interest in small business is simple: While luring a large company to a community with the promise of hiring hundreds of workers is sure to attract the most headlines, most new jobs are created by small employers either being launched or adding employees.

And there is no shortage of small businesses in this area. According to the 2010 Census, there are approximately 1,399 small businesses in Boyd County, including 1,331 with fewer than 50 employees. Carter County had 404 small businesses, with 392 with 50 or fewer employees while Greenup County had 498 small businesses with 482 fewer than 50 employees.

“About nine out of 10 businesses in Kentucky are small businesses, so this is something that can provide tremendous support to a large portion of our economy,” said Mark Johnson, assistant director of the Cabinet’s Small Business Services Division.

Topics at the seminar include loans available to small business, how to expand into foreign markets and programs available for innovative, technology-based businesses.

Businesses in Ashland may consider FIVCO’s offices in EastPark to be in the “middle of nowhere,” but the industrial park is a centrally located location easily accessible by U.S. 23, Interstate 64, U.S. 60 and other major highways in the FIVC0 area of Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Elliott and Lawrence counties. We encourage area business owners and entrepreneurs to circle March 21 on their calendars and attend the seminar to listen and learn about what’s available and what they can do to expand.