Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher's Small Business Innovation Legislation Passes Unanimously in House
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher welcomed the House Economic Development Committee’s unanimous passage today of House Bill 422, an initiative to help maximize the potential and profit for Kentucky’s small businesses.
“Passing this initiative means Kentucky will become the only state in the nation with a comprehensive, start-to-finish matching funds program for innovative small businesses that receive federal SBIR and STTR awards,” said Governor Fletcher. “These loans are directly related to developing new technologies into commercial products and services, which are more likely to be manufactured in Kentucky since they will be developed here.”
House Bill 422, sponsored by Representatives Harry Moberly, Jr. (D-Richmond), Jimmie Lee (D-Elizabethtown) and Don Pasley (D-Winchester), authorizes the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA), within the Cabinet for Economic Development, to create an incentive program to match federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards to high-tech companies in Kentucky.
“House Bill 422 is a very important part of a strategy to develop entrepreneurial, innovative small businesses in Kentucky," said Representative Harry Moberly Jr. (D – Richmond).
“SBIR and STTR matching funds will be an important part of Kentucky’s innovation strategy to promote the development of new high-tech products to boost our economic competitiveness,” said Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Gene Strong. “By offering entrepreneurs and small businesses the opportunity to effectively double their product research and development funding, it makes sense more of these businesses will be compelled to stay in or relocate to Kentucky.”
The Cabinet for Economic Development’s Department of Commercialization and Innovation would administer the programs that match all Phase I and Phase II federal SBIR and STTR awards received by Kentucky businesses. This includes matching awards of up to $100,000 to support Phase I exploration of the technical merit or feasibility of an idea or technology. Phase II federal awards, which support full-scale research and development, would be matched by the commonwealth up to $500,000.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2005 totaled nearly $1.7 billion with the creation of over 17,100 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.thinkkentucky.com.