Exploring the State of Western Kentucky’s Small Businesses
PADUCAH, KENTUCKY—Today, the House Committee on Small Business held a field hearing in Congressman James Comer’s (R-KY) congressional district on the state of Western Kentucky’s small businesses and what recommendations they have about federal policies.
“Small businesses were responsible for 1.9 million net new jobs in 2015 (including more than 17,000 net new jobs in Kentucky),” said Congressman James Comer. “As most of you know, Paducah is a dynamic, fast-growing city that engages its citizens and is recognized as a regional leader on many levels. Paducah is also financially sustainable, maintains quality infrastructure and facilities, and has a thriving river industry. It is a small city with big aspirations that offers great incentives for families and businesses to flourish.”
Hearing from the Heartland
“In order for small businesses to grow they require safe and reliable funding. Community banks focus intensely on small business lending,” said Mr. Bruce Kimbell, President and CEO of First Community Bank of the Heartland in Clinton, KY. “At my bank, as is true of my banker colleagues around the country, we are intensely focused on building and maintaining long-term relationships with our customers. We view our customers not as numbers but as individuals and business owners.”
“Swift & Staley Inc. transitioned from a privately owned company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Company in May 2017. We are aggressively looking to expand our service to other federal sectors and locations while maintaining our core competencies and client focus,” said Mr. Leon Owens, President of Swift & Staley Inc. in Paducah, KY. “On behalf of all ESOP small businesses, we would like to thank the Committee for supporting H.R. 5236 (Main Street Employee Ownership Act).”
“If the cost of doing business is less, more will be able to successfully operate a business while providing an adequate living to their family and those that they employ,” said Mr. Edward Musselman, Owner of Musselman Properties in Paducah, KY. “Fewer vacant buildings will strengthen real estate markets. More jobs and more offerings and strong economies will attract addition al residents and businesses.”
“When I first launched Socially Present over 6 years ago, there were several obstacles I ran into but also several resources that helped me get started. The main obstacle was a lack of organized information and the complexity of putting together a business plan,” said Mr. Jonas Neihoff, President of Socially Present in Paducah, KY. “Seeing that need, we launched our own program called “Small Town Big Idea” to help budding entrepreneurs develop their idea to a place where it is ready to launch.”
Click here for full witness testimony.