Business briefcase: June 27, 2014

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Rooted in Shelby

gets state grant

The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board last Friday approved $254,886 for agricultural diversification projects, including a $1,150 grant for the Shelby County Cooperative Extension Service and a new Rooted in Shelby program.

The program will promote the sale of horticultural, agricultural and other products produced by Kentucky Proud enterprises in Shelby County. The goal of the program is to heighten awareness of products and produce from Shelby County.

Other grant winners were:

  • The Deceased Farm Animal Removal Program – $10,000.
  • The Franklin-Simpson High School Agricultural Education Program for a new greenhouse – $25,000.
  • The County Agricultural Investment Programs in Bourbon, Garrard, Jefferson and Jessamine counties – $165,100
  • Shared-Use Equipment Program in Madison County – $29,773.


Kentucky most improved in supporting entrepreneurs

Gov. Steve Beshear's administration has placed an emphasis on supporting Kentucky’s small businesses. A new national survey indicates those efforts are paying off.

Thumbtack.com, in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation, has given the state an “A” rating in its annual Small Business Friendliness Survey. Kentucky scored a “B-minus” last year, making the Bluegrass the most improved state in the small business survey.

“Kentucky recognizes that small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” Beshear said in a news release from his office. “That’s why we’ve focused on developing innovative programs and offering dynamic services to help these growing companies every step of the way. It’s no surprise we’re producing great results.”

Thumbtack.com surveyed more than 12,000 small businesses across the United States. The survey asked questions about the friendliness of states and cities toward small business, such as: “In general, how would you rate your state’s support of small business owners?” and “Would you discourage or encourage someone from starting a new business where you live?”


Louisville native Diane Sawyer leaving ABC evening news desk

Louisville native Diane Sawyer announced Wednesday that she is stepping down as the anchor of ABC’s evening news.

The network said Sawyer would now concentrate on doing specials and interviews.

Under her lead, Sawyer and ABC were consistently second in the evening news ratings but made gains on the leader, NBC.

David Muir, who has served as a substitute for Sawyer, will take over for Sawyer.


Kentucky Proud foods to be served at Quaker State 400

Kentucky Proud foods will be served to fans at the Kentucky Speedway for Saturday’s Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts and for the remainder of the racing season, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced.

“Our partnership with the Kentucky Speedway will bring Kentucky Proud to a wider audience when the eyes of the auto racing world turn to Kentucky this weekend,” Commissioner Comer said. “At the same time, it will generate new income for participating Kentucky Proud farms and businesses. I’m grateful to Bob Magers with Levy Restaurants [the food service vendor for the Kentucky Speedway], Valerie Horn with Community Farm Alliance and Grow Appalachia, and everyone else who helped make this happen.”

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is working to source meats, cheeses, and other Kentucky Proud foods for the rest of the Speedway season, said Ben Shaffar, director of business development for the KDA’s marketing office.

Kentucky Proud stands for farm products grown, raised, or produced in Kentucky by Kentuckians. Thousands of farmers, processors, retailers, restaurants, school districts, farmers’ markets, Kentucky state parks, and Kentucky Farm Bureau roadside markets are members of Kentucky Proud.


Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale to increase to 25 states

Brews from Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. have expanded into new states, including Texas, New Mexico and New Hampshire. The award-winning Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is aged in bourbon barrels from Kentucky distilleries in the heart of bourbon country for at least six weeks, and has developed a devoted fan following since its launch in 2006.

Distribution will also spill into Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island in late summer and early fall, including an expanded reach in current territories of Illinois and Tennessee, bringing total distribution to 25 states. Already available internationally in Canada, Ireland, France and China, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale also recently became available on a limited scale in Hungary.


Bulletin board

  • AA Service Center, 890 Frankfort Road in Shelbyville, will celebrate its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony from noon to 2 p.m. today.


Bits & bytes:

  • Average retail gasoline prices in Louisville have remained the same in the past week, averaging $3.85 per gallon as of Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 644 gas outlets in Louisville. This compares with the national average that has increased 2.6 cents per gallon the past week to $3.68 per gallon. Including the change in gas prices in Louisville during the past week, prices Sunday were 27.5 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 6.6 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 4.6 cents per gallon in the last month and stands 10.9 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.


Briefcase is compiled from press releases and other information submitted to The Sentinel-News. The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report. Information and photos may be E-mailed to sharonw@SentinelNews.com. The deadline is noon Wednesday.