Category: Business

USEF Approved For Tax Incentives For Drug Testing Lab

Drug Lab

State officials on Thursday approved $300,000 in tax incentives for the United States Equestrian Federation’s plan to relocate its equine drug testing research laboratory to Kentucky from Ithaca, N.Y.

The move will bring with it 12 jobs paying an average hourly wage of $26 including benefits, according to state records. The relocation is expected to cost $1.47 million, state officials said.

The lab had been one of two competing for a two-year state drug testing contract. That contract was given earlier this month to HFL Sport Sciences, but USEF’s move wasn’t contingent on receiving the contract, said USEF CEO John Long. Long said his group expects to have a 7,500-square-foot lab at the University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Campus. While the goal is to have it operational later this year, it won’t be completed in time for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

The USEF’s testing for the World Equestrian Games will be done at the lab in Ithaca, and the intention is to move its operations during the winter, which is a slower time for drug testing for equine events. From Lexington, the lab will conduct testing for equine events just as it did in Ithaca.

“We are headquartered here, but it has a lot to do with the legacy of the World Equestrian Games,” Long said, noting that Lexington also offers a better labor market and close proximity to the major U.S. operations of UPS in Louisville.


Accountability Measure For KACo, KLC Clears Key Hurdle

Accountability Measuring

FRANKFORT After days of political wrangling, a measure that would require more accountability and transparency for two groups that represent Kentucky cities and counties was unanimously passed by the House Friday and will likely become law, according to a key supporter.

Senate Bill 88 a bill related to contracting for health departments was amended on the House floor Friday to include language from other House and Senate bills that would make the Kentucky League of Cities and the Kentucky Association of Counties subject to open records and open meetings laws, give their boards a code of ethics and allow the state auditor to review their books.

The bill also would require the two embattled organizations, which were the subject of scathing state audits last year after articles in the Herald-Leader exposed hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable spending, to post their expenditures online.

House Local Government Chairman Steve Riggs, D-Louisville, proposed the amendment that included provisions of Senate Bill 87, sponsored by Sen. Damon Thayer, D-Georgetown, and House Bill 325, sponsored by Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington. Thayer’s bill required the groups to report their expenditures online, but Simpson’s did not.

Although disappointed that the House didn’t approve his bill, Thayer said Friday that he would not block passage of SB 88 when the Senate considers changes made by the House.


Women-Owned Businesses A growing Trend In Lexington

Business Women

When Cathy Stafford started her business, her headquarters were her laundry room, and she had the help of one other person. Six years later, her office on Regency Road boasts 16 employees, and Stafford said she can attribute success to a few things: “prayer, perseverance, pearls, patent leather pumps and pashmina.”

That might not be the traditional recipe for success, but it speaks to a shift about who is calling the shots in many Lexington businesses.

According to the U.S. Economic Census, 26 percent of Lexington businesses were owned by women in 2002. Most of the businesses are repair, maintenance or laundry services, and health care and social assistance. Although more recent numbers aren’t available, local business owners, many of whom will be attending this week’s Minority Business Expo, said they see a rise in women taking control in Lexington.

Stafford is founder and president of Ad-Venture Promotions and the president of the Lexington chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Stafford said Lexington was a welcoming atmosphere when she started her business. She joined Commerce Lexington to get advice from fellow entrepreneurs and learned that the fundamentals of building a business were the same for either gender.

“Whether a woman or a man, you just have to get out there and knock on doors. You have to swing to hit,” she said.