It is certainly no exaggeration to say that small businesses form the backbone of our state’s economy. That’s why it is so important that our elected leaders in Frankfort do everything possible to help these small businesses thrive in a 21st century environment.
Small businesses are a key driver of Kentucky’s economy, and the numbers tell the story. The Commonwealth is home to more than 341,000 small businesses that employ nearly 700,000 people throughout the state.
The strength of Kentucky’s small business sector is in large part due to technology. Now more than ever, technology is essential for creating a business-friendly climate that fosters and attracts entrepreneurs. Technology allows small businesses in rural Kentucky to interact with customers around the globe in real time.
That is why we must recognize the efforts of forward thinking leaders in Frankfort. For example, House Speaker-Elect Jeff Hoover recently announced the creation of a Small Business and Information Technology Committee for the 2017 legislative session. The committee, which will focus on economic development issues, will benefit small businesses by encouraging the state to adopt and implement innovative technologies.
For years, the 16 member companies that make up the Kentucky Telecom Association have built the infrastructure and provided the services needed to keep the Commonwealth connected and technologically competitive. We applaud this effort to put additional and much needed focus on this important area of business development.
Policymakers and legislators must understand and embrace the link between innovative technologies and economic development. Entrepreneurs weigh access to technology heavily when considering where to launch their businesses. Furthermore, if Kentucky falls behind the tech curve, existing small businesses could relocate elsewhere.
The House leadership’s decision to move forward with a Small Business and Information Technology Committee affirms its commitment, not only to our robust telecommunications industry, but to the many entrepreneurs, small business owners and their employees who rely on new technologies to create and deliver their goods and services.
Please join me in encouraging our elected leaders in Frankfort to keep up the good work and maintain this positive momentum toward a brighter and more connected future in Kentucky.
Tyler Campbell is executive director of the Kentucky Telecom Association.