Cabinet for Economic Development

Press Release Date:  Thursday, April 23, 2009  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Free conference designed to help businesses & entrepreneurs within

Kentucky Area Development Districts plug into resources  

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 23, 2009) –   The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is partnering with several organizations across the Commonwealth to kick off the 2009 Small Business & Entrepreneurial Connections Forum Series.  The first event will be held Thursday, April 30, in Barbourville within the Cumberland Valley Area Development District.    

The free conference will provide an opportunity to learn about federal, state, and local resource organizations that provide financing, marketing, and other services to help small businesses grow.  In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from a panel of entrepreneurs that currently operate small businesses throughout the region.  

The April 30 small business conference will be held in Union College’s Frances Patridge Campus Center Building located at 310 College Street in Barbourville.  The forum will run from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET, and include a free lunch sponsored by the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation.   

Optional one-on-one business funding consultations with representatives from the Cabinet for Economic Development, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Capital Access Corporation, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) will be available from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET for attendees to discuss specific funding opportunities. 

“Regional entrepreneurs shouldn’t miss this chance to learn about a wealth of small business resources available to them from the local, regional and state levels,” said John E. Cole III, director of the Cabinet for Economic Development’s Small Business Services Division.  “Whether you’re currently in business, or thinking about starting a business, this forum is a perfect opportunity to gain additional information about programs that can help you in today’s tough business environment.”     

The Cabinet will present information on services provided by the Small and Minority Business Branch, the Procurement Assistance Program, the International Trade Division, and the Commission on Small Business Advocacy.   

In conjunction with the forum, the SBA District Office will also convene a Lender Workshop from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ET in the Edward H. Black Technology Center, adjacent to the Patridge Campus Center Building.  The workshop is open to any banking institution within the Cumberland Valley Area Development District and will cover the different Economic Recovery changes to SBA programs, as well as discuss which programs may best suit the bank and its customers. 

Other organizations providing information on available programs include the Southeast Kentucky Small Business Development Center, the Eastern Kentucky University Innovation and Commercialization Center, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Capital Access Corporation, MACED, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Rural Development.   

Attendees can register for this free forum by contacting Darlene Barber with the Cabinet for Economic Development’s Small Business Services Division at (800) 626-2250.   

The Barbourville Small Business & Entrepreneurial Connections Forum is a joint effort of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Union College, the Southeast Kentucky Small Business Development Center, the Knox County Chamber of Commerce, and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.   

Additional forums will be held throughout the year with confirmed stops in the following Area Development Districts: Barren River (Bowling Green - June 10, Cave City - June 11); and Buffalo Trace (Maysville – July 23).  The remaining Area Development District stops on the tour are in the final planning stages and include: Kentucky River (Hazard); FIVCO (Grayson); Lake Cumberland (Somerset); Green River (Henderson); and KIPDA (Louisville).        

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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 2008 totaled over $1.8 billion with the creation of more than 11,500 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at