Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear Announces Launch of Kentucky Export Initiative

Press Release Date:  Friday, December 03, 2010  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Initiative designed to increase exporting activity among Kentucky’s small and medium-sized businesses

SOMERSET, Ky. (Dec. 3, 2010) – Gov. Steve Beshear today visited Somerset to announce the launch of the Governor’s Kentucky Export Initiative, an initiative designed to increase exporting activity among small and medium-sized businesses.  The statewide program, which is loosely modeled on the National Export Initiative announced earlier this year, will leverage the existing efforts of Kentucky’s leading international trade organizations, as well as create new opportunities for education and market exploration.  

“For many small businesses, accessing markets outside the United States, which represents 95 percent of the world’s customers and two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power, is a key element to growth and prosperity,” said Gov. Beshear. “With the right assistance and guidance, many more Kentucky companies can grow and create jobs through beginning or expanded exporting activity. Our goal is to provide that needed assistance through the Kentucky Export Initiative.” 

The Kentucky Export Initiative is composed of six alliance members, all engaged in providing international trade assistance and expertise to Kentucky businesses.  They include: the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development; the Kentucky World Trade Center; the U.S. Department of Commerce; the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; the Northern Kentucky International Trade Association; and the U.S. Chamber’s TradeRoots program.  Additionally, a growing list of strategic partners will work with the alliance members to further support the initiative. 

Alliance members and strategic partners will join forces to educate qualified small and medium-sized businesses about the impact of exporting, as well as provide information on new markets; identify potential distributors, agents and end-users; and assist with compliance, logistics, legal issues and more.  

The Governor’s Kentucky Export Initiative will kick-off its efforts in Kentucky’s Appalachian region, thanks in part to an $85,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The grant is specifically designated to promote the exporting capacity and potential of companies in Kentucky’s 54 Appalachian counties.  

“We are grateful for the support of the Appalachian Regional Commission and look forward to working together to make sure that Kentucky’s Appalachian companies have the opportunities they need to be successful in the global marketplace,” added Gov. Beshear. 

Informational seminars will be held in various communities beginning in January 2011, followed by a series of in-depth training programs on the fundamentals of exporting.  Additional information about the Governor’s Kentucky Export Initiative, including details on upcoming events can be found at