Business and the Economy

Business news

A Shelbyville business is considering doubling the size of its plant, and state economic development officials announced an incentive package for the company on Thursday. Creative Packaging Company, located at 1700 Isaac Shelby Drive, is considering doubling its 100,000 square-foot plant, and the potential expansion could create 25 new jobs over a 10-year period.  The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority Board in Frankfort granted preliminary approval for $500,000 in state tax incentives for the project, which calls for adding the new jobs at an average hourly rate of $10.88 to $12.51 per hour, averaging $14 per hour after employee benefits are included.

State Grants Could Create 300 Jobs

May 27, 2011

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority on Thursday approved three $500,000 economic development bond grants to Harrodsburg to aid a trio of companies expanding there. The companies — Corning, Hitachi Automotive Systems America and Wausau Paper — will be required to hire nearly 300 new workers overall as part of their expansions to receive the grants. All three have also been granted other tax incentives in recent months.

Health Tech Firm Locates in Commonwealth

May 26, 2011

FRANKFORT – Meaningful Use Technologies LLC and Korean-based Arcron Systems Inc. are each establishing its U.S. headquarters in a 5,000-square-foot facility in Newport to serve the North American markets. The information technology companies together will create 20 new jobs and invest a total of more than $1 million in Northern Kentucky, according to a press release from Gov. Steve Beshear's office.

Disasters May Affect Insurance, Building

May 26, 2011

The tornadoes that have killed more than 500 people in the Midwest and elsewhere this year will have a trickle-down effect on Kentucky. “There is no doubt that all of the disasters here in the Midwest, Alabama and earlier in April in North Carolina ... will affect insurance rates here,” said David Wiseman, an agent for Van Meter Insurance Group. “The basis of insurance is, you have to spread the risk. So there is no way to take a group of policyholders in a particular area and try to spread losses out over just those policies. You have to spread those losses over a larger number of policyholders.”

Toyota Panel Urges More US Control

May 26, 2011

A report released Monday by the Toyota North America Quality Advisory Panel criticized the company’s structure of operations, with all major decisions coming from Toyota Motor Corp. in Japan. “Toyota has erred too much on the side of global centralization and needs to shift the balance somewhat toward greater local authority and control,” the panel advises.

State Lowers Residential Rates at KY Power

May 25, 2011

FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Public Service Commission has approved an expansion of residential energy conservation and efficiency programs for Kentucky Power Co. In an order issued Wednesday, the PSC authorized Kentucky Power to expand programs that promote installation of high-efficiency heating and cooling systems. The PSC also approved revised surcharges that will result in lower bills for residential customers, according to a PSC news release. Kentucky Power has about 176,000 customers in 20 Eastern Kentucky counties.

Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities are preparing to ask the Public Service Commission for rate increases that will take effect over the next five years. Company officials say the hikes are necessary to comply with environmental regulations. To comply with federal law, the utilities have to make their coal burning power plants pollute less. It’ll cost about $2.5 billion, and spokesperson Chip Keeling says that money has to come from customers.

Former Alltech Worker Alleges Harassment

May 25, 2011

The former U.S. controller for Nicholasville-based Alltech is suing the international animal feed company for sexual harassment, alleging she suffered three years of salacious emails, calls and assault by her former boss. The lawsuit says top officials at the company ignored the complaints of Amanda Jo Wester, who started at Alltech in 2007, about Eric Lanz, Alltech's director of the Americas at the time, and then retaliated against her. Wester recently resigned from the company, according to her attorney.

Manufacturer Expands Murray Operations

May 18, 2011

MURRAY – Local, state and company officials from Pella Corp. have announced the firm will expand its Murray operations - creating 75 new jobs by June. Pella manufactures and installs windows and doors for new construction and renovation projects. Demand for the company’s energy-efficient vinyl products is driving the expansion, according to a press release from Gov. Steve Beshear's office.

Retailer Frank Dawahare Dies at 83

May 18, 2011

He gave many college students in the area their first jobs. For years, he anonymously placed gifts on the doorsteps of poor people at Christmas. Recently, when he was lying in a hospital bed trying to beat leukemia, he prayed for visitors who had come to pray for him.  Serur Frank Dawahare Jr., one of the principals in a former Kentucky retail clothing dynasty, died Monday at his home in Lexington, apparently of complications from leukemia. He was 83. Read more...

CNN Money has listed the worst-performing Fortune 500 stocks for the last decade. The top spots went to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, investment banks and other companies that are blamed for leading into the recession. At the end of the list, though, at number 18, is media giant Gannett, a victim of the recession.

Toyota Gives 100 Vehicles to Nonprofits

May 17, 2011

Polls are open for Facebook users to select nonprofit organizations, including some with Scott County ties, to be awarded new Toyota vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp.’s 100 Cars For Good Program appears on the Toyota USA Facebook page. Each day, the company will feature five nonprofit organizations and the highest vote-getter will receive the vehicle of its choice. The company will give 100 vehicles to 100 nonprofit organizations over 100 days.

Mayor Jim Gray, business and other community leaders helped cut the ribbon today at the Town Branch Market, a new corner grocery shop in downtown Lexington. Alan Lytle has details.

Despite a drop in production and profits after the earthquake in Japan, Toyota Motor Company officials are optimistic about the automaker’s future. Toyota sales spokesperson Steve Curtis says the parts shortage that followed the earthquake has not been as long or severe as expected. Toyota profits dropped by 77 percent after the disaster, but Curtis says demand, at least in North America, remains high.

It was reported today that Humana intends to stop hiring smokers, where the action is legally permitted. The company wants to encourage healthy behavior among workers and already has a policy of not hiring smokers in southwestern Ohio.