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 Small Business Services Division offers programs and services - funding, marketing assistance, advocacy, and resource
referrals - designed to encourage the development of small and micro businesses, businesses owned by women, veterans, and minorities,
businesses located in economically challenged areas and businesses owned by individuals classified with disabilities.
Kentucky Innovation Network –
This statewide network of 10 Innovation and Commercialization Centers (ICCs) and two satellite offices is staffed by experienced and
educated business leaders who serve all 120 counties in Kentucky. Each ICC offers assistance and guidance to Kentucky entrepreneurs and companies
in the following areas – at no cost to your startup or small business: business development consultation, business model consultation, validation
and market assessment, access to service providers, assistance with growth strategy, access to professional networks, connections to potential
suppliers and business partners, and access to funding resources and capital networks.
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 Kentucky Procurement Assistance
Program (KPAP) provides one-to-one counseling and group training. Assistance is provided in areas such as vendor registration and certification,
market research, understanding government contracting rules and regulations, and responding to bids and proposals. In addition, KPAP offers automated
bid match emails that provide targeted information about government procurement opportunities. Assistance with identifying potential subcontractors
and teaming partners is also available.
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
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