Cabinet for Economic Development

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, September 16, 2009  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Free conferences designed to help small businesses & entrepreneurs plug into resources


FRANKFORT, Ky. (September 16, 2009) –   The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is partnering with several economic development organizations in the Kentucky River Area Development District as the 2009 Small Business & Entrepreneurial Connections Forum series travels to the host city of Hazard, Ky., on Thursday, September 24.   

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 September 24 forum will be held on the campus of Hazard Community & Technical College in the First Federal Building, located at One Community College Drive in Hazard.  The forum will run from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET and include a free lunch sponsored by Hazard Community & Technical College, Community Trust Bank and the Kentucky River ADD.   

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

“We’re excited to be working with so many dynamic organizations within the Kentucky River Area Development District area,” said John E. Cole III, director of the Cabinet for Economic Development’s Small Business Services Division.  “Our hope is that regional entrepreneurs and small business owners take advantage of this unique opportunity to gain insight on a wealth of small business resources available to them from the local, regional and state levels.”  

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.   

“Whether you’re currently in business, or thinking about starting a business, this forum is one of the best arenas to obtain additional information about programs that can help you in today’s tough business environment,” added Cole.  “It also is a great networking opportunity with experienced and seasoned small business owners and entrepreneurs who have been there and done that from across the Kentucky River Area Development District.”     

Other organizations providing information on available programs include the Hazard Community & Technical College Division of Continuing Education, Workforce & Community Development, the Office of Employment & Training within the Education & Workforce Development Cabinet, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College Small Business Development Center, the Eastern Kentucky Region Innovation and Commercialization Center, Capital Access Corporation, MACED, SKED and the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Rural Development.  Other pertinent service providers could be added up until the day of the event, germane to the Kentucky River ADD that would be beneficial to small businesses and entrepreneurs.    

Attendees can register and obtain directions for this free forum by contacting Darlene Barber at (800) 626-2250 or 

The Kentucky River ADD Small Business & Entrepreneurial Connections Forum is a joint effort of Hazard Community & Technical College, the Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College Small Business Development Center in Middlesboro, the Hazard/Perry County Chamber of Commerce, Community Trust Bank, the Kentucky River ADD and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.   

Additional forums will be held throughout the remainder of 2009 with confirmed stops in the following area development districts: FIVCO (Flatwoods – October 8), Green River (Henderson – October 22), Lake Cumberland (Somerset – October 29) and KIPDA (Louisville – November 19).  A special stop has be added for the Bluegrass (Lexington – December 3), which is in the preliminary planning stages. 


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