May 4th through 8th is Small Business Week and with 300,000 small businesses in Kentucky employing almost 750,000 people, Kentucky has proven to be an advantageous and beneficial location for entrepreneurs and innovators.
Small businesses enrich our economy and support job growth here in Lexington, and two state programs have been particularly helpful to our local businesses: the SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Grant Program and the Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit Initiative.
The Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit (KSBTC) helps grow small businesses with less than 50 full time employees by providing an annual tax credit of up to $25,000 to support hiring new employees or making investments in new equipment or technology of at least $5,000.
Kentucky’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Matching Funds Grant Program aims to help technology-oriented small businesses. SBIR/STTR provides matching funds to support work that goes along with existing Federal SBIR/STTR Awards, up to $150,000 for Phase 1 and up to $500,000 for Phase II. Out-of-state applicants must relocate to Kentucky and maintain Kentucky-based status for at least five years, with at least 51% of the company’s property and payroll in Kentucky, and must spend at least 51% of the grant money in Kentucky.
Since its inception in 2006, 25 companies have relocated to Lexington because of the SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Grant Program, creating 115 new full time jobs and 12 new part time jobs with an average annual wage of $65,000. In 2014 alone, four high-tech companies were attracted to Lexington because of SBIR grants. These companies created 17 new jobs with an average wave over $80,000.
More information about the Lexington-based organization that helps small businesses can be found here.