GUEST COLUMN: Services offered by Economic Development

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By The Staff

In the last two years, Taylorsville and Spencer County have had 681 new businesses; of that number, 105 have closed their accounts according to the occupational tax administrator’s records. The sewer expansion project is well underway, this will encourage renovation of existing facilities and the building of new ones, creating job opportunities.

One of the numerous services provided by the Taylorsville-Spencer County Economic Development Authority, Inc., is meeting with potential business representatives and providing them with demographic information focusing on their market, as well as, providing contact information relative to the business license process, zoning requirements and local ordinances.

While, our focus is on success of these businesses, our goal is to provide services to the residents of our community. Previously, our office has met with various representatives to discuss a much-needed emergency medical facility, including a helicopter pad.

Recreation is a major part of our community; over 750,000 people visit Taylorsville Lake and Taylorsville Lake State Park annually. Events at these locations include Bluegrass Boardfest, fishing, bass tournaments, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, boating, campground facilities and full service marina.

While attending a conference recently, the speaker asked, what is your community’s niche? Immediately, my response is Taylorsville Lake, Taylorsville State Park and the annual Kentucky Gourd Art Show, after all we are the Gourd Capital of Kentucky!

Next question, was not that easy, “how does your community capitalize on that uniqueness?” I’m passionate about this community, and will concentrate on how we can better capitalize on our uniqueness.

Recently, our office met with Janet Barnett, the coordinator for the annual Kentucky Gourd Art Show for the last 16 years, and our advocate to keep the show here. This event brings 2,000 tourists to our community. In 2010, 18 different states were represented by exhibitors or vendors. The economic impact of this event is huge. The lodging facilities are at capacity and local residents open their homes to guest to accommodate the overflow. The local antique stores have an extremely good week and the “gourdians” visit all the local restaurants.

Some of our local residents have never made it to the gourd show. This year, make plans to go to see the talented artist; what they do with gourds is truly amazing. Supplies are available to purchase and the artists are always eager to explain how they created their masterpiece. We are fortunate to have local gourd growers living in the area. You can help our local businesses by purchasing home grown gourds. The Gourd Capital of Kentucky is in our back yard, and in the future, we will be making it one of our trademarks.

The Quilt Trail project began in Adams County, Ohio and has spread quickly. Presently, the Kentucky Quilt Trails features 62 counties that are a part of this project. It’s time to add Taylorsville and Spencer County to that list, if you would like to participate, please contact me. For more information about this project at http://artscouncil.ky.gov./QTrails/QTrails.htm. Information can also be picked up at the Spencer County Extension office.

Economic development is not only about bringing new businesses to our community; it’s also about business retention. It’s about promoting and marketing our uniqueness, hosting events that will bring people to our area, to see and enjoy the things we have to offer. Economic development is not all about the tourist or visitors; it’s also about the 17,000 residents that have chosen to make Taylorsville and Spencer County their home. Make a commitment to your community to get involved, and buy locally whenever possible. The businesses made a commitment to locate here, to serve you. You may discover that you enjoy going into a local shop, where you can speak with the owner, and they get to know you, as a friend and customer. Trust me, with three children, a home and a job, I don’t have time to walk through 18 aisles to find what I need. For example, I can walk into Bennett’s Hardware Store and say this is my tangent for the day, what do I need to get it accomplished? Their help has given my husband, Keith, a much-needed break, thanks guys.

May your families be blessed and may we continue to work together to make this the place to be!