Business and the Economy

Business news

Local Beef Initiative Launched This Spring

May 7, 2018

Kentucky cattle producers are hoping to see more of their beef show up at local grocery stores.  That ‘farm to table’ initiative began earlier this spring.

Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Director Chauncey Morris says the equine industry is, quote, “in a very good place now.”

One of the best examples of the success of the horse industry in the commonwealth is the just completed Kentucky Derby.  Morris says 85 percent of the horses in the big race were Kentucky bred.

Cheri Lawson

In part two of our series “Women Leading the Way” in fields traditionally dominated by men,Lexington’s first female Fire Chief, Kristin Chilton talks progress, challenges and role models.

Kentucky Tourism Marketing Season in Full Bloom

Apr 23, 2018

With the Kentucky Derby less than two weeks away and the summer travel season approaching, state tourism officials are in full advertising mode right now.  Those in tourism stress the economic gains seen through increased tourist numbers.

Cheri Lawson

Women are leading the way in fields that for years were dominated by men. In the first of our series. “Women Leading the Way”  we feature  Toyota Motor Manufacturing  Kentucky's first female President, Susan Elkington.

Stu Johnson

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he tends to focus on congressional decisions more than comments coming out of the White House.  

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Seeks Hemp Action in Washington

Mar 26, 2018

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wants to revive hemp as a major agricultural product in the U.S. and plans to file a bill to remove hemp from the federal list of controlled substances.

It’s currently illegal to grow hemp without a permit because it’s a member of the same species as cannabis. But, hemp has a negligible amount of the high-inducing compound THC.


McConnell told a room full of hemp promoters in Frankfort on Monday that he thinks the country is ready to legalize the plant.

Shelbyville Senator Paul Hornback says Alltech Founder Pearse Lyons contributed to the agriculture industry by thinking outside the box.  Hornback was reflecting on the impact of Lyons, who died Thursday after battling a lung condition following heart surgery.

Hornback, a lifelong farmer, says animal feed advances at Alltech led to an expansion of Kentucky’s livestock industry.

Business and Educators Gather for Workforce Summit

Jan 30, 2018

Business leaders, educators, and workforce training officials are gathering today for the third Kentucky Workforce Summit.  The day- long event is coordinated by the state chamber of commerce.  Kentucky Workforce Center Director Beth Davisson says the private sector is rolling out a statewide talent pipeline management program.

For more than a decade, Kentucky’s largest business association has hosted a state legislative preview conference.  Tuesday’s event in Lexington covered most hot button items for the 2018 general assembly session.

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson believes the budgetary challenges facing state lawmakers over the next three months could be the toughest in decades.

The veteran business leader says it could even outdistance the 2008 recession, because there will be no federal bailout support this time.

This week before Christmas is expected to be the busiest of the year for shipping, mailing, and delivery within the U.S. Postal Service. 

Online shopping and more traditional gift giving practices are responsible for annual increases in postal business.


Battery Plant Coming to Eastern Kentucky

Dec 15, 2017

West Coast Battery Company EnerBlu plans to invest $372 million in a manufacturing plant in Pikeville.  The formal announcement came this morning in eastern Kentucky. 

Long-time Congressman Hal Rogers says the expected 875 jobs eventually will be just the right medicine for a region hit hard by coal industry losses.  “You’ve been talking about evolving the economy of a whole region of the state.  This is a big step in that direction,” said Rogers.


UK Board Approves Land-Street Swap Deal

Dec 12, 2017

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved Tuesday a land/street swap with Lexington Urban County Government.  Only one step remains to make the deal final.

Lexington’s business umbrella organization continues to focus on seven targeted commercial sectors.  Questions about business priorities came up during a recent presentation by Commerce Lexington.


Stu Johnson

A St. Louis woman is helping employ women rescued from human trafficking at 15 centers established in the United States and around the world.  Dawn Manske is in Lexington this week for the 19th Ending Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Conference.

Kentucky Ag Economy Seeing a Slight Uptick

Nov 30, 2017

Kentucky’s farm economy is experiencing about 3.5 percent growth this year compared to 2016.  University of Kentucky Agriculture Economist Will Snell terms it as “some stability.” 

Good Giving Challenge Underway in Central Kentucky

Nov 29, 2017
Stu Johnson

For the seventh year, the Good Giving Challenge fundraising competition is underway. Well over a hundred non-profit organizations benefit from the month long campaign coordinated by the Bluegrass Community Foundation.

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth hopes to raise awareness of the significance of an accurate count during the 2020 Census. 

The citizen-based activist organization cites a study done at George Washington University.

The future of economic development in Lexington will be under review Tuesday at City Hall.

Members of the council’s Budget, Finance, and Economic Development Committee will hear from Commerce Lexington, the local umbrella organization representing a wide variety of businesses. 

Cheri Lawson

This week Americans will come together to celebrate and give thanks. Thanksgiving has become a holiday for family, football and feasting.

WEKU's Cheri Lawson reports, for many families, the centerpiece of the celebration is the turkey. And hundreds of those turkeys will come from a Northern Kentucky farm.

Stu Johnson

Residents of Lexington and Fayette County will soon have a new option for cable television, Internet and even telephone service.

Mayor Jim Gray announced Tuesday that the community will soon be one of the nation’s only “Gigabit Cities.”

The president of the Kentucky Restaurant Association says the opening and closing of eateries is part of the hospitality business. 

Lexington has seen its share of restaurants come and go in recent weeks.

Gov. Matt Bevin Monday defended his proposal to change the state’s pension systems before a group of business leaders in Lexington.

Late last week, Bevin released a much-anticipated draft of a bill that would move most future and some current retirees onto less-generous 401(k)-style plans.

The proposal would also tweak benefits to current employees and retirees, drawing fire from state employee groups that say the changes would be illegal.

Stu Johnson

State and local government leaders, education officials, and business representatives all gathered in Scott County Monday for a formal announcement at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky.  

This event centered on engineering.


An Ohio company that’s developed an environmentally friendly process to manufacture chemicals used in paint and plastics is locating a facility in Hancock County that will create about 125 jobs. 

WhiteRock Pigments is investing nearly $180 million in a manufacturing operation near Hawesville. The company is renovating the former Alcoa building that has been vacant for nine years.

The president of the Lexington Bluegrass Association of Realtors worries about future availability of land for building in Fayette County.  

Ty Brown spoke last week to members of the Georgetown-Scott County Chamber of Commerce.

Stu Johnson

Progress at the Centre Point building site in the middle of downtown Lexington has some urban county council members asking for government action to help further construction.  

Two commercial developers are now joining together for the high rise office and retail complex.

Non-profit workforce development organizations can make grant applications for a part of $300,000 in Lexington government funds to assist with job training. 

This second round of funding represents twice the amount distributed previously.

Lexington Leaders Assessing Rural Broadband Options

Sep 25, 2017

Lexington government leaders are studying the best ways to extend high-speed broadband fiber connectivity in rural areas of Fayette County.

Council's Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee gave the issue attention last week.

The closing of three Nicholasville Mexican restaurants Tuesday has an employee of at least one nearby business claiming it was related to an illegal immigration roundup. 

There’s no confirmation yet from federal authorities.