Frankfort, KY: Governor Ernie Fletcher today praised the Senate for its passage of SB 156, legislation that will encourage the growth of small businesses across Kentucky. The bill now awaits passage by the Kentucky House of Representatives.
“Economic development and better opportunities for all Kentuckians remain the top priorities of my administration,” said Governor Fletcher. “We must work in a bi-partisan way to ensure that our small business community has the resources needed to succeed in the Commonwealth. I commend the Senate for passing a bill that will make Kentucky more business-friendly.”
SB 156, sponsored by Senator Gary Tapp (R-Waddy), was designed to assist small businesses across Kentucky by authorizing the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) to develop and fund a small business loan program to assist new or existing small businesses operating in the Commonwealth.
"Since small business owners are the backbone of our economy, and as a small business owner and sponsor of Senate Bill 156, I want to thank Governor Fletcher and Secretary Strong for supporting the direct loan program," said Senator Tapp. "This legislation will assist small business owners - who employ half of Kentucky's workforce - in updating or expanding their companies and lead to more jobs for Kentuckians.
"I was pleased to work with the Governor and Secretary Strong to move Senate Bill 156 out of my committee," added Senator Alice Forgy Kerr (R-Lexington). "As a longtime member of the Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee, I know that supporting Kentucky businesses so that they remain strong ensures job opportunities for our citizens."
Recognizing that small businesses, while essential for the economic vitality of the Commonwealth, may have difficulty obtaining conventional loans, KEDFA may provide terms that are more lenient, high-risk, or otherwise less stringent than industry standards.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) was established within the Cabinet for Economic Development to encourage economic development, business expansion, and job creation by providing financial support through an array of financial assistance and tax credit programs.
“SB 156 represents the Cabinet for Economic Development’s continued commitment to the growth of our small business community in Kentucky,” stated Secretary Gene Strong. “Nearly 80% of all new jobs are created by small businesses and we believe that this piece of legislation will further enhance job creation throughout Kentucky.”
“It is imperative that we do all that we can to assist the small business community in Kentucky,” said Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo (D-Lexington). “I stand behind Governor Fletcher and Secretary Strong’s commitment to supporting small businesses and creating new jobs for Kentuckians.”
The bill also authorizes the Cabinet for Economic Development to create and maintain an online interactive database to promote sales transactions between and with Kentucky companies. Once operational the database will allow businesses and individuals from around the world to identify and communicate with Kentucky suppliers of goods and services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at no cost. The goal of the database is to increase awareness of goods and services offered by Kentucky companies and increase procurement opportunities for Kentucky businesses.
For more information on the programs proposed in the bill, please call the Cabinet for Economic Development at 800-626-2930 or 502-564-7140.