Starting a Business?

Small Business is Big in Kentucky!

Small businesses are vital to Kentucky’s economy. In fact, more than 90 percent of the businesses in the Commonwealth have fewer than 50 employees. The Cabinet for Economic Development wants to help your small business succeed, which is why we offer a variety of programs and services designed to support the startup and growth of small businesses. Below are the many ways we can help.

Small Business Support – The Cabinet’s Small Business Services Division offers programs and services – funding, marketing assistance, advocacy, and resource referrals – designed to encourage the development of small and micro businesses, businesses owned by women, veterans, and minorities, businesses located in economically challenged areas and businesses owned by individuals classified with disabilities.

SMALL BUSINESS CONNECTions Vendor Database – The purpose of this searchable, online database of small, minority, and women-owned businesses in Kentucky is to help match small businesses in Kentucky with buyers from government agencies and large businesses. The initiative is a joint effort of the Cabinet for Economic Development and the Finance & Administration Cabinet.

Business Incentives and Financial Programs – The Cabinet for Economic Development administers a variety of financial and incentive programs to encourage economic development, business expansion and job creation. From small business loans to a tax credit for hiring at least one employee, the Cabinet has several tools that can help lower your cost of doing business.

Government Procurement – If you are a Kentucky business interested in federal, state, or local government contracting opportunities, the Kentucky Procurement Assistance Program (KPAP) provides one-to-one counseling and group training. Assistance is provided in areas such as vendor registration and certification, market research, understanding government contracting rules and regulations, and responding to bids and proposals. In addition, KPAP offers automated bid match emails that provide targeted information about government procurement opportunities. Assistance with identifying potential subcontractors and teaming partners is also available.

International Trade – Kentucky companies are quickly becoming competitive players in the global marketplace. The Commonwealth recognizes the need to assist businesses with their international endeavors, which is why in late 2010, the Governor’s Kentucky Export Initiative was launched. The Kentucky Export Initiative was created to bring together agencies and organizations in Kentucky that help facilitate international trade opportunities for Kentucky exporters. The goal is simple – to increase Kentucky exports, which will lead to new Kentucky jobs and create diversified markets for Kentucky products. The Kentucky Export Initiative is the best place to begin your export exploration.

Small Business Advocacy – The Kentucky Commission on Small Business Advocacy exists to provide linkages between the small business community and public policy in the Commonwealth. The Commission reviews proposed new regulations for impacts on small business and serves as a resource on policy issues affecting the interests of small business.

Permits and Licenses – The Business Information Clearinghouse is a valuable resource that can help you understand the proper permits and licenses needed to do business in Kentucky.



Additional information is available on our website.  To see a list of training offerings for entrepreneurs and small business development click here.





At EntrePaducah, we stand ready to assist our DOE workers who wish to open their own small business within the community.  From Business Planning and Funding to Taxes and Permits, we can help you find the information you need.

E-mail to set up a one-on-one consultation in our office at the Paducah Commerce Center.  If you are a self-starter, our website provides plenty of tools that you can utilize to begin exploring your options.