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."
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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.