Small business growth is a priority in Pendleton County

Sources of advice, finances and aid for Pendleton Countians

Understanding that business growth in Pendleton County is essential to the economic growth of the county and the largest employers throughout the state are small businesses collectively, the previous and present Pendleton County Fiscal Court have made a commitment to fostering growth of small businesses.
    Through the Small Business Development Center  (SBDC) located at Northern Kentucky University and Economic Development Director Bill Mitchell, the Pendleton County Fiscal Court has invested funds to provide resources to local citizens that have interest in starting a new business.
    At the Tuesday, March 26 regularly scheduled meeting, Rebecca Volpe, Director of NKU SBDC and Mitchell presented to the fiscal court what they had received in the past year for their investment.
    Using a $1,500 Duke Energy Foundation Grant that the court had received, SBDC provides information to perspective entrepreneurs  on business plans, financing, market research, and organizational structure.
    “We have a robust presence in Pendleton County because of your foresight to emphasize and prioritize small business development,” Volpe told the magistrates.
    They provide a broad spectrum of training workshops to provide new and existing business owners with the knowledge to start, maintain or expand a profitable business.
    While strict confidentiality prevented Volpe from identifying businesses, she gave examples of helping business owners obtain needed equipment, market research for customers both in the region and statewide, development of a website, and helped work with banks to obtain financing.
    In one situation, they helped a local agribusiness owner receive a grant that cut the cost of financing the purchase of a needed piece of equipment in half.
    While being in Pendleton County one day a month, she pointed out that their services are open for business owners to come to NKU, but they are flexible.
    “Sometimes they cannot wait a month. They visit us when running errands up there or we meet them in the middle. Whatever it takes.”
    Mitchell pointed out that in two cases the services provided led individuals to make the determination that their business idea was not going to offer the return in investment that they needed. Both individuals decided to not start a business that research showed was going to fail.
    For the first year, SBDC provided 288 total client service hours with a $21,839 value in market research and C-Suite data access.
    Nine businesses were started creating 24 new jobs. Thirty-two existing jobs were affected by services offered to existing businesses.
    There was an infusion of $398,732 in capital into Pendleton County’s economy.
    “Without someone like Bill Mitchell who markets what we do, none of this would have been possible,” Volpe said.
    Mitchell’s position is a collaboration between Pendleton County Fiscal Court, City of Butler and Falmouth as well as the water districts.
    Magistrate Josh Plummer of District 2 said, “I know 50 people that started their own business and failed because they did not have the right info.”
    He expressed that what they are doing will help small businesses in Pendleton County.
    Magistrate Darrin Gregg asked about helping individuals with financing when they are poor.
    Volpe indicated there are microfunds and microgrants to help out.
    Magistrate Rick Mineer inquired about classes provided to business owners for QuickBooks. Volpe indicated that they provide those on the NKU campus.
    Judge Executive David Fields said, “I have had a lot of good feedback from those that have met with them.”
    For more information on the services provided, you can contact the center at either volper1@nku.edu or 859-448-8801.