Secretary of State
Secretary Grimes Encourages Kentuckians to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday

Press Release Date:  Monday, November 24, 2014  
Contact Information:  Lynn Sowards Zellen,
Bradford Queen,
(502) 564-3490

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday, a day to recognize small and family businesses, entrepreneurs, and local servicers and retailers. Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s Secretary of State and chief business official, is encouraging Kentuckians to participate in Small Business Saturday and to support local businesses throughout the season.

Helping the businesses that keep Kentucky going and growing is one of Grimes’ top priorities. She has met business owners around the state, listening to them and learning about their business models, their plans for growth, and also their struggles. And she has supported legislation to create new options for Kentucky businesses and streamline their interactions with government, saving businesses valuable time and money.

One of the first business owners Grimes worked with as Secretary of State was Joe Bremer, now a sophomore at Boyle County High School. Grimes helped Joe start his business, Joe’s Bars and Suds, LLC, in 2012 at the age of 11. Joe makes all-natural, Kentucky Proud goat milk soap and lotion, as well as shaving kits and herbal bath teas. He gets all of his milk from one of his six goats. He is working on creating new product lines, such as liquid soaps and lotion bars.

Since registering Joe’s Bars and Suds in 2012, Joe has expanded his retail presence from Boyle County to include six additional counties, and he has established a website to take orders online. To date, Joe has shipped his products to more than 20 states and at least five countries. Joe also supports local organizations through his business, and he is looking for Kentucky-based partners to make wooden creates and print boxes for his soaps.

“Watching Joe start and grow his business has been an inspiration to me,” said Grimes. “Beyond being a successful business owner, Joe is involved in and gives back to his community and local economy. He’s a shining example of what small businesses across the Commonwealth contribute to the state. With our support, local business owners like Joe will pave the way to an even brighter future for Kentucky.”

According to the Small Business Administration, there are more than 341,000 small businesses in the Commonwealth, representing almost every segment of the economy, including retail, manufacturing, health care, construction, and many more. Small businesses employ about half of the Commonwealth’s private workforce, and they created more than 2,500 new jobs in Kentucky in 2011.  Small businesses create jobs and economic opportunity in every community and contribute to tax bases to pay for police and fire departments, schools, and other vital services.

“When Kentucky businesses start up, expand, and prosper, Kentucky prospers, too,” said Grimes. “I hope everyone will gather their family, friends, and neighbors and shop small this season!”

For more information about Joe’s Bars and Suds, check out his website,, or visit him on Small Business Saturday at the Christmas in the Country Craft Fair at First Vineyard in Nicholasville.