FRANKFORT, Ky. — Changes improving Kentucky’s business climate have helped attract record corporate investment the past four years, paving the way for companies to announce 58,000 planned new jobs.
Now the commonwealth will drive that message home in Illinois.
Gov. Matt Bevin announced Monday, southbound commuters on I-57 from Chicago to the Kentucky border will see a series of billboards touting the commonwealth’s business advantages. With this marketing campaign, Kentucky will inform and welcome companies no longer wanting to operate under Illinois’ tax and regulation-heavy environment.
“We’ve made tremendous progress over the past four years in transforming Kentucky into a strong pro-business state and an excellent location for companies looking to expand or relocate,” Bevin said. “This new billboard campaign is our way of taking our positive message of opportunity to companies that could truly benefit from moving to the friendly confines of the commonwealth.”
Kentucky offers businesses an unprecedented three international air-cargo hubs – by UPS, DHL and Amazon – a low-tax and regulation-cutting approach to business, among the nation’s lowest industrial electricity rates, deep workforce expertise in manufacturing, ag-tech and innovation as well as sites, buildings and Build-Ready certified locations across highly livable communities statewide.
All this, Kentucky offers wrapped in a predictable, moderate climate, unlikely to interrupt supply chains and production schedules. The same four seasons making Kentucky’s agriculture, equine and bourbon industries thrive, deliver a balanced quality of life for visitors and residents.
Across the past four years, Kentucky took steps to become one of the most pro-business states in the country with the introduction of new legislation and implementation of the Red Tape Reduction initiative. Passage of right-to-work legislation, tax reform and other pro-business policies made a tremendous impact on Kentucky’s growing economy. Strategically removing burdensome regulations has helped ensure new and existing businesses will remain in the state for years to come.
The six-month Illinois billboard campaign by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development will help spread those messages to nearby businesses in a state recognized for high tax rates and rising business costs. The initiative will display five message variants across nine billboards along I-57, each pointing to better business opportunities in the commonwealth.
“Our cabinet has received dozens of inquiries from Illinois-based businesses looking to relocate or grow in Kentucky,” said Vivek Sarin, economic development cabinet interim secretary. “Clearly Kentucky has more to offer – whether it’s a skilled workforce, unparalleled air-cargo options or low business costs with an active initiative by state leaders to cut government red tape that blocks business growth. Since we know companies and residents want to move to Kentucky, this campaign is an effective way to share the good news with others and let them know how close they are to a better environment.”
Kentucky and Illinois stats:
Corporate income tax rates
Illinois – 9.5% (5th highest in the US)
Kentucky – 5.0% (one of the lowest in the US; T-6th lowest of states that levy corporate income taxes)
Industrial Electricity Costs (cents/kWh per the U.S. EIA)
Illinois – 6.57
Kentucky – 5.46
Kentucky Red Tape Reduction initiative
600-plus regulations repealed
700 regulations amended
To download a fact sheet with additional comparisons and an image file of Kentucky’s Illinois billboard campaign, click here.