Thursday March 22, 2018
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Registration deadline is Oct. 22

A Nov. 2 economic development forum focused on west Louisville will examine strategies and available resources to help rebuild and sustain communities.

The University of Louisville’s College of Arts and Sciences is offering the public event, “The Future of Our Community: West Louisville Economic and Community Development Forum,” at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. The program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Advance registration is required by Oct. 22 for the forum, which includes lunch. Participants should visit and pay online or by check; fees are $60 for corporate representatives, $50 for individuals and $40 for students.

Forum breakout sessions will focus on creative financing for individual and large construction projects, economic opportunities for minority-owned firms, successful neighborhood planning and access to lending opportunities. Panelists will include residents, developers, financiers, entrepreneurs and government and community group representatives.

WAVE 3 News anchor Dawne Gee will serve as mistress of ceremonies for the event.

The program includes a 12:45-2:15 p.m. luncheon panel with former National Basketball Association players Derek Anderson and Darrell Griffith discussing “Giving Back: The Power of Investing in the Community” and a tribute to philanthropist and civic leader Charlie Johnson.

The A&S international, diversity and engagement programs office organized the forum. Other partners are Brown-Forman Corp., OneWest, PNC Bank, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis-Louisville Branch, Louisville Metro Council, Louisville Housing Authority, Louisville Forward, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth and UofL’s urban and public affairs department.

For a full schedule of sessions and speakers, see the forum’s website. For more information, contact Clest Lanier at 502-852-3042 or

EnterpriseCorp, the entrepreneurial support arm of GLI, welcomed nearly 300 people to the Kentucky Derby Museum for the annual Evening of Entrepreneurship, presented by Wyatt Tarrant & Combs, Wednesday evening. The event featured a keynote presentation by Frederique Dame, a well-known angel investor and former product engineer for Uber, and gave the region’s startup community a chance to celebrate their accomplishments and look ahead to the work that needs to be done to accelerate the region’s startup community.

“We’ve taken huge steps forward in just a year’s time and as other communities have taught us, once the ball is rolling it’s hard to stop it. We have every reason to be optimistic about the state of entrepreneurship in our region. Yes, there are challenges that we need to take head on to keep up the pace of this progress, but there is so much to be proud of and so many opportunities to connect, engage and grow our region’s startups,” Lisa Bajorinas, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Talent for GLI, told the crowd during her State of Entrepreneurship address.

The theme of this year’s program was customer development, specifically the clients that have made the biggest impact on local startups and entrepreneurs. Dame’s speech centered on her time at Uber and how the company scaled from early stage to global success by listening to their drivers and customers pain points and working from that point.

“Building a product with the customer is not only essential. It’s also really fun,” Dame said. “If you’re not building for the customer, then what is your business actually doing?”

Dame also took the chance to comment on the landscape of tech startups and how established companies and entrepreneurs can work together.

“Being beta testers, as a large customer, would be incredible help to small startups and the large companies can benefit from the collaboration with startups to increase their agility within their markets,” Dame said.

In addition to Dame’s address, Mary Tapolsky took home 2017’s EnterpriseCorp Award, which recognizes an individual that has made a significant contribution to Louisville’s entrepreneurial community.

Tapolsky is the Director for Technology Commercialization and Program Administration for UofL’s Nucleus. She focuses on developing and administering programs and services to help facilitate the creation and success of startup and early stage companies. These programs include LaunchIt, an entrepreneur training program that has graduated over 380 entrepreneurs, RevIt – Accelerating Customer Growth, VetStart, Open Office Hours, e + i Entrepreneurs Meet Innovators, Nucleus MeetUps, and Startup Seminar Series – Educating Entrepreneurs. In addition, she administers the Nucleus Startup Grants program and has been instrumental in recruiting more than twenty technology-based companies to One Innovation Center.

National Ag Day is today, and it is a good time to reflect on some of the many ways agriculture affects us every day.

Agriculture is a major economic driver in Kentucky and the United States. Nationally, it is one of few sectors that can boast a trade surplus. In Kentucky, agricultural exports totaled an estimated $1.46 billion in 2015. A University of Kentucky report found that agriculture and related industries in Kentucky had an estimated economic impact of $45.6 billion and accounted for more than 258,000 jobs in 2013.

Agriculture, of course, feeds us all. We rely on farmers and food manufacturers to produce the abundant and affordable foods and beverages that we all depend on – and often take for granted. Thanks to the productivity and efficiency of U.S. agriculture, Americans spend an average of only 9.7 percent of their income on food – the lowest in the world.

Of course, that is not true of all Americans. The lowest 20 percent of the population based on earnings pay as much as 35 percent of their income to feed themselves and their families. Some have to make hard choices to make ends meet. This situation is intolerable, and that is why we launched the Kentucky Hunger Initiative and assembled the Hunger Task Force last year. You can help by checking the box on Line 33 of Form 740 to donate part of your state tax refund to the Kentucky Farms to Food Banks Trust Fund. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of Kentuckians in need.

If you want to learn more about Kentucky agriculture, follow the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s #KyAg365 campaign on Facebook and Twitter. We launched #KyAg365 at the beginning of the year to raise awareness of how agriculture affects every single person 365 days a year! This campaign educates the public on the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s initiatives as well as the importance of agriculture in the lives of all Kentuckians.

We thank everyone who has liked, shared, and retweeted our posts! Many organizations, businesses, and individuals have used the hashtag to mark their own Kentucky ag-related posts. We hope you will watch for more #KyAg365 posts and discover amazing facts about Kentucky agriculture.

On National Ag Day, I hope you will take a moment to consider how your food is produced and where it comes from. And as always, if you like to eat, thank a farmer!

Communities across the state recognized by Site Selection magazine

Announced on the same day as CBRE hailed Louisville’s office market as one of the most affordable in the nation, Kentucky placed second nationally in economic development projects per capita last year and first in the South Central region according to Site Selection magazine, Gov. Matt Bevin announced today.

The rankings – part of Site Selection’s annual Governor’s Cup awards – make 2016 the third consecutive year Kentucky has placed first or second in the per-capita competition. Numerous Kentucky metropolitan and micropolitan regions also placed on top-10 lists for their economic development achievements. As well, Kentucky ranked seventh nationally in total projects, beating out states of far greater size.

“Kentucky continues to distinguish itself as a top location for new business growth and expansion,” Gov. Bevin said. “The strong performance outlined in this report stands as further proof of this fact, ranking us among the top 10 states by total economic projects announced. This is a great achievement for a state much smaller than many of our competitors, and is a testament to the efforts of thousands of people. It is exciting to see what happens when city, county, regional, state and federal levels collaborate to attract growth in communities across the commonwealth. The incredible beauty, quality of life, work ethic and abundant opportunities in Kentucky are becoming increasingly well known, and the future is bright indeed.”

In addition to the state’s high ranking, Site Selection named five Kentucky communities among its Top 10 Metro Areas Ranking. These include the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati region, which ranked fifth among areas with populations exceeding 1 million; Lexington, which ranked fourth for communities with populations between 200,000 and 1 million; and Bowling Green, Owensboro and Elizabethtown, which placed second, seventh and ninth, respectively, among metropolitan areas with fewer than 200,000 people.   Continue reading

According to recent national rankings by CBRE Research, both the Louisville Downtown and Suburban Office markets ranked in the Top 10 markets with the lowest asking rental rates in the nation.

Among the 50 Downtown markets tracked by CBRE Research, the Louisville Downtown Office market ranked third overall in terms of most affordable in the nation, while the Louisville Suburban Office market ranked 6th overall among the 58 suburban markets tracked by CBRE Research.

“This recent ranking by CBRE Research further solidifies Louisville’s competitive cost of doing business,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “The city is experiencing more than $9 billion in investment right now, paired with our low unemployment rate and increase in average weekly wages, so now is the time to be doing business in Louisville.”

CBRE Research shows Louisville Downtown office markets average a cost of $16.71 per square foot, and the Suburban markets average a cost of $17.96 per square foot.

According to CBRE Research, Louisville markets offer more affordable office space than similar-sized peer-cities in the region. For example, Nashville has a $25.35 per square foot Downtown asking rate; Columbus has a $20.33 per square foot Downtown asking rate, and Cincinnati has an $18.28 per square foot Suburban asking rate. The Louisville Downtown Office market is the second-most affordable in the region after St. Louis, while the Louisville Suburban Office market was third most affordable after Cleveland and Detroit.

To view the latest CBRE Louisville Office MarketView report, visit

Last Day For NFMS

LouisvilleDispatch_NFMS17_0841Today is the last day for the annual National Farm Machinery Show.  Visitors will have one final chance to see the newest and most advance equipment for all their agricultural needs before they are gone from the Kentucky Exposition Center.  Whether you are large commercial farmer or a home gardener, there will be something of interest for everyone.  With over 800 exhibitors, a crafts and gift market, and the Championship Tractor Pull, the event is expecting up to 300,000 attendees throughout the course of the show.

The final day of Championship Tractor Pull will feature two events including the 1:00 PM matinée and the 7:30 PM championship finals.  Each event is expected to last approximately three hours.  Drivers in the afternoon competition will test their machines in the classes for 7,500lb. 4×4 Super Stock Diesel Trucks, 6,400lb. Lightweight Super Stock Alcohol Tractors, and 10,200lb. Pro Stock Tractors.  The evening heats include Modified Tractors, Super Farm Tractors, 2WD Super Modified Trucks, Super Stock and Alcohol Tractors, and the massive 10,200lb. Pro Stock Tractor class.

Last night, visitors were treated to a down-to-the-wire performance as three Pro Stock tractors made a full pull of the weight sled to result in a head to head pull-off to determine the winner.  The competition is exciting and the event is loud so be sure to bring your ear protection.  This is a separate event from the admission-free Farm Machinery Show and tickets must be purchased ahead of time.  Pricing starts at $20 for the afternoon event and $25 for the evening event.  As with most events at the KY Exposition Center, parking is $8 per car.  Do not miss out on one of larger shows that comes Louisville.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s chief business official, is reminding Kentucky businesses and those authorized to do business in Kentucky that they must file an annual report with the Secretary of State’s office and pay a $15 filing fee no later than June 30, 2017.

Businesses can quickly file their 2017 annual reports by visiting the Secretary of State’s website. The online report includes information generated from businesses’ prior filings, eliminating the need to enter the same information every year.

“We set a record in 2016 for the number of annual reports filed online – nearly 150,000 – saving both time and money for those businesses and the state,” said Grimes. “You can quickly view your report, make necessary changes, and file it.” Businesses may also file and pay in person or via U.S. mail.

The filing requirement applies to the more than 200,000 corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, business trusts and professional service corporations registered in the commonwealth.

Businesses that fail to file an annual report before the deadline will be listed in bad standing with the Secretary of State and receive a final 60-day notice. Failure to comply with the 60-day notice results in administrative dissolution of the business entity or revocation of authority to do business in Kentucky.