By Carol Lea Spence
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Kentucky Small Business Development has been awarded a $2.4 million CARES Act funding grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The funds will provide KSBDC with resources to furnish education, training and business advising to small businesses that have experienced COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, staffing challenges, a decrease in gross receipts or customers, or a closure.
Kristina Joyce, KSBDC state director, said the majority of the grant will be used to hire 18 new staff members to help as many small businesses as possible during this time of economic upheaval and in the future.
“We would never conceive of a COVID-19 pandemic, and we pray that it never happens again, but we are here to assist Kentucky’s small businesses to not only survive but to thrive,” Joyce said. “Small business is the backbone of this country’s economic health. Everyone benefits from their success.”
The grant will also be used to increase marketing efforts to ensure small businesses are aware of the resources and programs KSBDC offers and to provide educational information to protect businesses from falling victim to scams and predatory lenders.
About 14% of the funding will be used to expand vital technology services, as KSBDC personnel mobilize to meet the changing needs of the small business community.
Plans for the budget are in keeping with KSBDC’s strategic goals, which are to add value to its service delivery to clientele; to diversify funding to increase federal and state investment and establish results-driven partnerships and investments; to enhance awareness of the organization; and to strengthen ties, collaboration and communication with Kentucky’s academic institutions and economic development partners.
“With any great challenge comes opportunity to innovate and to create a new and improved KSBDC,” Joyce said. “Much like our small businesses, the KSBDC wants not only to survive but to thrive. We want to be the ‘go-to’ resource for Kentucky’s entrepreneurs.”
The Kentucky Small Business Development Center is a network of 12 offices located throughout the state. The center advises existing and start-up businesses with business plans, financial forecasts, research on a particular industry and the community where owners plan to start their business.
KSBDC is an accredited partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration and is housed in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
For more information about the Kentucky Small Business Development Center or to arrange for a meeting at an office near you, visit https://www.ksbdc.org/coronavirus.