Business and the Economy

5:21am

Mon April 9, 2012
Business and the Economy

Toyota Cheers New Auto Incentives Law

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has signed a bill into law that gives tax incentives to automakers in Kentucky. The new law allows manufacturers and suppliers to tap the incentives if they have 1,000 employees, have been in business in Kentucky for at least five years and are willing to invest $100 million in the state. The law is an extension of a 2007 program that allowed Ford to invest more than one billion dollars into its two Louisville plants to expand the workforce and re-tool assembly lines.

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5:16am

Mon April 9, 2012
Business and the Economy

Alcohol Debate for Berea College

Some Berea residents recently voted to allow the dining room at Boone Tavern to sell alcohol by the drink, but the hotel and restaurant are owned by Berea College.
Lexington Herald-Leader file photo

Boone Tavern has long been known as a place for iconic Southern fare such as spoonbread or "chicken flakes in a bird's nest," a dish of creamed chicken served over a crispy shell of shredded potatoes. Although "tavern" is part of its name, the 103-year-old hotel and restaurant has never sold alcohol. Nevertheless, out-of-town diners often ask for drinks with their meals. That could change in the wake of last week's East Berea Precinct vote of 146 to 57 favoring the limited sale of alcohol by the drink at Boone Tavern. Whether that actually happens is up to the 30-member board of trustees of Berea College, which owns Boone Tavern.

5:10am

Fri April 6, 2012
Business and the Economy

Firm to Bring 125 Jobs to Campbellsville

Serco, a travel and hospitality company, is expanding its reach in the industry by creating 125 jobs at its Campbellsville center. The international service company acquired Intelenet Global Services last year in order to partner global travel with hospitality services for worldwide clientele. “Kentucky welcomes Serco’s growth and success in Campbellsville,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement.

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5:08am

Fri April 6, 2012
Business and the Economy

Businesses Cash in on UK's Win

Employee Nic Johnson carried an armload of championship shirts at Fan Outfitters in the Tates Creek Centre on Tates Creek Rd. at Man O War Blvd. in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, April 04, 2012.
Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader

If there's one universal truth, surely it's that dogs can't be cats. Right? Wrong. It turns out that in the wake of the University of Kentucky's eighth men's basketball championship, even dogs can dress as the Cats, courtesy of Fan Outfitters and its line of UK T-shirts for dogs. The canine clothing is one of numerous ways a variety of Lexington businesses, including restaurants, banks, local media and the post office, are cashing in on the Cats' victory. "I've never seen anything like it," said Joe Kawaja, president of Lexington-based collegiate retailer Fan Outfitters. "Fourteen years of pent-up demand is a great thing."

4:53pm

Thu April 5, 2012
Business and the Economy

Keeneland's 75th Running

Friday marks the beginning of the 75th spring meet at Keeneland.  While history is a big part of racing at the Lexington track, officials there are working to incorporate new programs.  Keeneland’s Julie Balog says, over the next three weeks, fractional wagering will be available.  Balog says this approach allows bettors to put more horses in a wager but bet in smaller increments.  Overall, she says, betting figures are starting to rebound.

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4:47pm

Thu April 5, 2012
Business and the Economy

More Corn in the Ground

National grain specialists are predicting a record amount of corn crops could go in the ground this spring.   A rise in corn yields has been a trend in the commonwealth.  University of Kentucky Extension Professor of Grain Crops, Chad Lee says Kentucky’s corn acreage could go up about ten percent this year.  Lee says the profit potential is partly the result of warmer than usual weather.  He says, in the bluegrass, corn has gone from being the number three crop to number one in the last few years.

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7:57am

Wed April 4, 2012
Business and the Economy

Another Big Bridge Project in Louisville

Five companies are vying to build the downtown portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project.  Kentucky is in charge of appointing a firm to build a new bridge between downtown Louisville and southern Indiana. The company will also rework Spaghetti Junction. The deadline for applications was this week, and transportation cabinet officials will spend the next few weeks reviewing the submissions.

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9:37am

Tue April 3, 2012
Business and the Economy

More Newspaper Cutbacks in Louisville

Twenty-six Courier-Journal employees will take buyouts from the paper’s parent company Gannett. Gannett offered the buyouts earlier this year to employees over 56-years-old and with at least 20 years of service to the company. Eighteen of the employees who accepted the buyouts came from the Courier’s news department. The buyouts reduce the paper’s editorial page staff to one: Pam Platt will remain. Only one news employee will be replaced, marking another reduction in the paper’s reporting staff.

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3:35pm

Thu March 29, 2012
Business and the Economy

State Approves Business Tax Incentives

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved a proposal Thursday that would give $10.25 million in Kentucky business incentives to a subsidiary of Amazon.com, should it choose to open a $20-million customer support center in Winchester. To receive the full tax credit from the state, the company, AMZN.wacs Inc, would have to create 550 full-time jobs and 600 part-time and seasonal jobs, said Todd Denham, executive director of the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Authority. The jobs would have an average hourly pay of $20.33 with benefits. The 70,000-square-foot center, Denham said, would be built on a seven-acre site to be determined.

12:48pm

Wed March 28, 2012
Business and the Economy

Final Four Tourism Push

Kentucky tourism hopes to cash-in on the Final Four matchup between the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville.   State officials hope it attracts more visitors to the Bluegrass State. Tourism officials hope Kentucky’s prominent place in college basketball’s Final Four will attract more out-of-state visitors. Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism Deputy Commissioner, Hank Phillips sees Saturday’s contest between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville as a marketing opportunity

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2:53pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Business and the Economy

Tax Advice for Storm Damaged Farms

Floods in 20-11 and this year’s tornadoes could complicate the tax returns filed by Kentucky farmers.  For example, when farmers receive an insurance check for damaged crops, I-R-S spokesman Luis Garcia says they must claim that money as income.  And, if bad weather forces the early sale of livestock, Garcia says that income can sometimes be claimed on next year’s tax return.

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12:41pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Business and the Economy

Kentucky Jobless Rate Falls

Kentucky's unemployment rate remained below 9 percent in February, dropping to 8.7 percent. That's down a tad from 8.8 percent in January, which marked the first time in three years that the jobless rate had been below 9 percent. February was the eighth consecutive month that the rate has declined, according to the state Office of Employment and Training. However, the state's measure continued to lag the national rate, which remained at 8.3 percent.

5:00am

Thu March 22, 2012
Business and the Economy

Grown by Kentuckians, Sold to Kentuckians

These laying hens at Clark Family Farm live in a mobile chicken house that can be moved easily to give them access to fresh grass, soil and insects.
Jacalyn Carfagno WEKU News

In Kentucky alone, the number of registered farmers markets grew from 96 in 2004 to about 150 last year. That doesn't count roadside stands or local produce sold in supermarkets.  Other farmers sell a portion of their crop to local consumers even before a seed is planted.  Such business models represent a big shift away from the mass production emphasized on most American farms since World War Two.

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2:09pm

Tue March 20, 2012
Business and the Economy

Toyota President in Savoy's Top 100

TMMK President Will James makes a presentation during Toyota's celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Georgetown plant.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. President Will James has been named to Savoy Magazine’s 2012 Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America. The Savoy Top 100 can be found in its 11th Anniversary Spring issue and is considered the definitive listing of African-American influencers and achievers impacting corporate America.

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5:12pm

Mon March 19, 2012
Business and the Economy

High-Tech Businesses Awarded Funds

Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced 17 high-tech Kentucky companies will share $6.2 million in state funds as part of a program to support and attract technology-based small businesses. Through the state’s competitive Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Matching Funds program, Kentucky matches all or part of federal awards received by Kentucky-based companies or those willing to relocate operations to Kentucky, according to a press release from the governor's office.

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3:53pm

Fri March 16, 2012
Business and the Economy

Jobless Rate Falls in 114 Kentucky Counties

Unemployment rates fell in 114 of Kentucky's 120 counties in January compared with January 2011, according to data released Thursday by the state's Office of Employment and Training. Woodford County had the lowest unemployment rate at 6.9 percent. It was followed by Webster, 7.2 percent; Fayette, 7.3 percent; Oldham, 7.5 percent; Boone, 7.7 percent; Union, 7.8 percent; Henderson, 7.9 percent; Madison and Shelby, 8 percent each; and Hopkins, 8.1 percent.

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3:49pm

Fri March 16, 2012
Business and the Economy

Horse Park Anticipates a Good Year

The executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park is anticipating one of the “best years ever” for the sprawling tourist attraction, despite significant financial hurdles. This week the park returned to its regular operating hours for the spring and summer.  Ryan Yates and his family were visiting Friday from Collierville, Tennessee. “It’s neat to see the different breeds that we don’t typically see in our part of the country.”

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5:45pm

Wed March 14, 2012
Business and the Economy

Groundbreaking for New DHL Facility

Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson Wednesday joined community leaders and officials from DHL Express to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new 193,000-square-foot sorting facility in Erlanger. The expansion brings 120 full-time jobs and an investment of $47 million. DHL officials anticipate the new facility will be operational by November. Upgrades are also planned for an existing 520,000-square-foot facility.

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4:27pm

Wed March 14, 2012
Business and the Economy

Sweet 16 Brings An Economic Boost

Sweet Sixteen trophy.
LexingtonCenter.com

The Sweet Sixteen tournament comes to Rupp Arena today – bringing with it scores of high school basketball players, boosters, and a sizable economic impact for Lexington. City officials are eager to keep it that way. 

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10:06am

Tue March 13, 2012
Business and the Economy

Marathon Issues Gasoline Advisory for Small Engines

Marathon Petroleum say gasoline sold in more than 40 counties in Kentucky and southern Indianacould potentially cause problems in motorcycles, mowers, chain saws and other devices with small engines because it may contain more than ten percent ethanol.

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5:19pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Business and the Economy

Business Friendly Legislation on Agenda

This week, lawmakers should begin considering legislation from each other’s chambers. State Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, hopes that includes a series of business-friendly laws he has proposed. One of those is House Bill 277, which would standardize, as much as possible, tax reporting forms used by taxing jurisdictions and offer the forms through the Secretary of State’s One Stop Shop for Business.

11:13am

Tue March 6, 2012
Business and the Economy

Bill Tries to Bolster Wine Business

Dennis Walter, who owns StoneBrook Winery, Camp Springs, uses a pneumatic corking machine to set corks in bottles of pear wine. A bill filed by Rep. Dennis Keene would provide for separate liquor licenses.
Patrick Reddy/The Kentucky Enquirer

Dan Bryan wanted to open a wine bar but the cost shocked him. Just to get a liquor license could cost more than $25,000. That’s why Bryan and local leaders support a bill introduced by State Rep. Dennis Keene, D-Wilder, that would create a separate liquor license to sell wine by the drink and by the package in wine bars. Winemakers hope this will lead to more bars devoted to wine, particularly Kentucky wine. The state’s wine industry has grown in the past 15 years from four wineries to 65 across the state.

11:25am

Mon March 5, 2012
Business and the Economy

Full Economic Recovery Likely After Tornado

Kevin Simmons is a professor of economics at Austin College in Texas.

Kentuckians are just beginning the gauge the economic cost of the weekend’s disaster.  A more complete picture will become apparent once damage assessments are complete.  However, there are economic trends that follow a tornado.  For example, economist Kevin Simmons says full recovery is likely…in fact, Simmons says some communities re-invent themselves after devastating weather.  The Austin College professor says disaster relief, from both government and private sources, can temporarily improve a local economy.

3:12pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Business and the Economy

Now Building Partnerships Across 18 Counties

A group dedicated to smart growth in central Kentucky has more than doubled its size.  President Rob Rumpke says Bluegrass Tomorrow now represents 18 counties. “When you talk about the projects and programs that `Bluegrass Tomorrow’ is all about, it has to include those counties.  Whether you’re talking about the Consortium of Higher Education, which goes all the way over to Morehead, or you’re talking about greenways and connectivity of trails and protection of the horse industry and those kinds of things,” said Rumpke.

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1:55pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Business and the Economy

Kentucky More Industrious than Most of Nation

FRANKFORT – In its highest ranking ever, Kentucky has been rated eighth in the nation for new and expanded industry activity in 2011 by Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings. The Atlanta-based publication has rated the states annually since 1978. The ranking is based on a state’s total number of qualified projects as tracked by Conway Data Inc.’s New Plant database.

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2:55pm

Tue February 28, 2012
Business and the Economy

Lexington Firm to Add Jobs

KD Analytical Consulting Inc., which provides support, service and training to the emergency first responder community, will expand its operation at Lexington’s Bluegrass Station by adding more than 7,000 square feet to its existing 1,850-square-foot facility. The growth means an investment of $897,800 and will include the hiring of 15 full-time employees.

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11:43am

Sun February 26, 2012
Business and the Economy

Lincoln Birthplace is Economic Success

A new study issued by the National Park Service shows Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace is not just a draw for tourists. It is also a source of local economic success. The study, “Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2010” found visitors to the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Hodgenville spent more than $6 million in local communities in 2010. The study estimates the spending generated roughly 97 jobs.

4:00pm

Thu February 23, 2012
Business and the Economy

Postal Service to Close Processing Centers

Eight postal service mail processing centers around Kentucky will be closed. In a press release Thursday, the postal service said processing centers in Somerset, Paducah, London, Hazard, Elizabethtown, Bowling Green, Campton and Lexington will close beginning in mid-May. Mail will now be processed at other facilities.

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5:52pm

Wed February 22, 2012
Business and the Economy

Grants Available to Support Exporting

Kentucky’s Cabinet for Economic Development is now accepting applications from Kentucky small businesses for grant money made available through the State Trade and Export Promotion. The grant program is part of a three-year trade and export promotion pilot initiative authorized by the Small Business Administration Act of 2010, which aims to increase the number of small businesses that export, as well as to increase the value of exports for companies that are currently doing so.

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5:48pm

Wed February 22, 2012
Business and the Economy

National Sports Organization Moves to Louisville

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association will move into the former 5,000-square-foot Crescent Hill Woman's Club facility in Louisville, creating 12 jobs and making a $525,000 investment. “We’re thrilled to welcome the National Fastpitch Coaches Association to the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement issued by his office. “This is a national nonprofit organization that could have chosen any city in the country but chose Louisville.

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