Gov. Steve Beshear on Thursday announced a $400,000 grant to Kentucky Highlands Investment Corp. to spur economic growth in southeastern Kentucky.
The state made the grant so KHIC can take advantage of a $1.3 million matching grant from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. KHIC raised $900,000 privately and the state kicked in the rest. KHIC provides loans, equity investments and other assistance to southeastern Kentucky businesses.
The resulting $2.6 million loan pool is a component of an initiative to plan a better future for Eastern Kentucky called SOAR, or Shaping Our Appalachian Region. It was created by Beshear, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, and other local and state leaders.
"Improving southeastern Kentucky's economic landscape is vital to the success of the entire state," Beshear said in a statement. "This region is in dire need of new businesses and more jobs, and these funds will go a long way toward encouraging innovation and putting eastern Kentuckians back to work. I'm proud to partner with local, state and federal officials to offer this support."
KHIC was formed in 1968 to stimulate growth and create employment opportunities in a nine-county region of southeastern Kentucky. KHIC now operates in 22 counties.