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Kentucky SBDC helps community members turn side hustles into businesses

MOREHEAD – The Kentucky Small Business Development Center in Morehead is seeing an increase in clients requesting help turning their side hustles into full-time jobs, a trend that’s boosting the community’s economy.

Some of Morehead’s most common industries for business startups include landscaping, HVAC, electrical, festival vending, food trucks, pressure washing, boutiques, restaurants and more. Often, clients have worked in the field for many years, and when they’re ready to formalize their experience into a business, they reach out to SBDC business coaches for support.

“We find that clients come to the SBDC to take the next step, to register their new business with the Kentucky office of the Secretary of State, to file and pay taxes—that sort of thing,” said Rachel Bowling, Kentucky SBDC Morehead center director. “The SBDC helps simplify processes that can be overwhelming for new business owners and entrepreneurs. We spend time building relationships with our clients and facilitating the behind-the-scenes work for them so they can focus on doing the work they love.”

SBDC center directors and business coaches help new and existing businesses complete registrations, plans, filings and more.

“People can come in apprehensive, not knowing how to start their business. They leave relieved that they have someone they can talk to about the back-end parts of running a business,” Bowling said.

The Kentucky SBDC in Morehead had a big year in 2021, serving 100 clients and logging more than 270 coaching hours. They helped individuals acquire and/or start 14 new businesses and supported 216 jobs in the area, while adding more than $2.5 million to the economy.

Also in 2021, the Morehead office moved from the Main Street location to the second floor of the Kentucky Folk Art Center at Morehead State University. Even though the office has moved, the SBDC continues to work on its Main Street Program, designed to support Main Street and the businesses on and near it, as well as share ideas, advocate for and develop new businesses in downtown Morehead.

“If [anyone has] a business that is looking to move into Main Street, they can contact the SBDC, and we can help make those dreams a reality,” Bowling said.

The Kentucky SBDC has been assisting the commonwealth’s small-business community since 1981. Through its statewide growing network of centers and an experienced and knowledgeable staff, Kentucky SBDC provides business coaching and training services that help existing business owners and potential entrepreneurs succeed. Its services include one-on-one business coaching, training workshops, market research, loan packaging help, assistance with financial projections and information needed to make informed business decisions.

Kentucky SBDC is co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is administered by the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment in partnership with regional academic institutions, economic development organizations, the private sector and the commonwealth of Kentucky.

Kentucky SBDC is funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U. S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of SBA.



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