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Small Business Is Big in Kentucky!

Small businesses are vital to Kentucky’s economy. In fact, more than 90 percent of the businesses in the Commonwealth have fewer than 50 employees. The Cabinet for Economic Development wants to help your small business succeed, which is why we offer a variety of programs and services designed to support the startup and growth of small businesses. Below are the many ways we can help.

Small Business Support – The Cabinet’s Office of Entrepreneurship enhances the state’s existing efforts to help businesses at every step of the growth cycle. The goals of the office are to develop an entrepreneurial climate for new talent in Kentucky; provide guidance and support to startup operations statewide; assist existing small businesses with growth opportunities; and create a pipeline of business activity that can be streamlined with the traditional growth opportunities the Cabinet already offers to encourage job creation and new investment in the Commonwealth.

Kentucky Innovation Network – The Kentucky Innovation Network, part of the Office of Entrepreneurship, is comprised of 10 Innovation and Commercialization Centers (ICCs) and two satellite offices located strategically throughout the Commonwealth. The office also guides the Cabinet’s extensive resources for small and new businesses, as well as innovative and high-tech companies, through funding initiatives, marketing and sales assistance, small business advocacy and available resource referrals, along with a variety of financial and incentive programs to encourage new investment and job growth. All services are provided free of charge.

SMALL BUSINESS CONNECTions Vendor Database – The purpose of this searchable, online database of small, minority, and women-owned businesses in Kentucky is to help match small businesses in Kentucky with buyers from government agencies and large businesses. The initiative is a joint effort of the Cabinet for Economic Development and the Finance & Administration Cabinet.

Business Incentives and Financial Programs – The Cabinet for Economic Development administers a variety of financial and incentive programs to encourage economic development, business expansion and job creation. From small business loans to a tax credit for hiring at least one employee, the Cabinet has several tools that can help lower your cost of doing business.

Government Procurement - If you are a Kentucky business interested in federal, state, or local government contracting opportunities, the Cabinet for Economic Development offers automated bid match emails that provide targeted information about government procurement opportunities. In addition, the Cabinet provides a listing of websites that identify contracting opportunities with federal, state and local government agencies.

International Trade - Kentucky companies are quickly becoming competitive players in the global marketplace. The Commonwealth recognizes the need to assist businesses with their international endeavors, which is why in late 2010, the Governor’s Kentucky Export Initiative was launched. The Kentucky Export Initiative was created to bring together agencies and organizations in Kentucky that help facilitate international trade opportunities for Kentucky exporters. The goal is simple - to increase Kentucky exports, which will lead to new Kentucky jobs and create diversified markets for Kentucky products. The Kentucky Export Initiative is the best place to begin your export exploration.

Small Business Advocacy – The Kentucky Commission on Small Business Advocacy exists to provide linkages between the small business community and public policy in the Commonwealth. The Commission reviews proposed new regulations for impacts on small business and serves as a resource on policy issues affecting the interests of small business.

Permits and Licenses – The Business Information Clearinghouse is a valuable resource that can help you understand the proper permits and licenses needed to do business in Kentucky.





Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development   Old Capitol Annex  300 West Broadway   Frankfort, KY 40601
502-564-7140 (local)   800-626-2930 (toll free)