In order to meet the ever-growing demand of its consumers, companies coast-to-coast are looking to expand their operations. This need for growth and quick turnaround times has brought the speed to market factor to the forefront when it comes to business expansion and relocation.
For decision makers at businesses considering a new location, states capable of getting companies from the project stage to operational quickly and efficiently are in a prime position compared to their competition.
The commonwealth has taken an aggressive approach to the speed to market demand, matching companies’ sense of urgency and expediting project timelines in a way many other states cannot. This advantage has opened the doors to continue strong statewide economic growth through increased investment and job creation.
Looking ahead, the state is paving the way for future speedy development through its Build-Ready Sites and Kentucky Product Development Initiative (KPDI).
Through KPDI, the state enables companies to quickly locate in Kentucky while mitigating the risks and delays normally associated with the construction process. This unique program was launched in partnership between the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED). It’s supported by $200 million in funding that was approved by Gov. Andy Beshear and the state legislature.
More than 70 applications for funding were received statewide after the initiative went live. Local government and economic development organizations may take advantage of these resources to secure and build up sites with infrastructure to make them development ready.
In March 2023, the first three projects were moved through the approval stage in the initial round of the KPDI by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) for over $2.7 million in state funding. The KPDI Program is responsible for assistance for transformative site and infrastructure improvement projects, which include the development of Build-Ready sites.
With a Build-Ready site, much of the work – aside from construction – has already been completed. That includes control of the land to be developed, archaeological, environmental and geotechnical studies performed, construction of a building pad, preliminary design work, approved site plan permits and necessary infrastructure in place. On a Build-Ready site, construction can begin immediately.
There are currently 23 Build-Ready sites throughout the commonwealth with eight sites, including tracts located in Hart and Laurel counties and 4 sites in Warren County, being selected by companies for new location projects, allowing companies to bring their operations online in a cost-efficient manner while creating jobs for local Kentuckians.
Complementing Kentucky’s speed-to-market advantages are a host of other business-friendly elements, including an ideal geographic location that places the state within a day’s drive of more than two-thirds of the nation’s population and personal income and manufacturing operations. With highly developed logistics and distribution infrastructure and facilities – including four major ground and air-shipping hubs – Kentucky continues to attract businesses that rely on multiple reliable, air, road, waterway and rail shipping options. These factors are a huge reason why the logistics and distribution industry, and others such as manufacturing, automotive, metals and food, beverage and agritech are thriving in the commonwealth.
Kentucky’s commitment to bring companies to market quickly, create high-wage opportunities and improve infrastructure throughout the state are paying dividends, and the state sits in good position to build a brighter future through these early successes.