SBA grant to help fund contractor incubator

Central Kentucky business leaders and Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, on Tuesday announced a $200,000 Small Business Administration grant to Commerce Lexington.

The first initiative that will receive funding is a construction contractor incubator program that will help three firms, to be selected by an advisory committee, with myriad business needs including financial management, job-site safety and access to discounted insurance and workers' compensation.

"Creating good-paying local jobs has to be our top priority," Chandler said in a statement. "Our small businesses are the engines of job creation, and they are the ones who will bring us out of these tough economic times."

The Bluegrass Veteran and Minority Owned Contractor Incubation Program will target businesses owned by veterans, minorities, women and those disabled or disadvantaged, according to a news release. Companies interested in applying for the intensive help can call Richard Vincent of the Associated General Contractors of Kentucky at (859) 293-6494.

Other small-business initiatives will be announced later this year. Those will focus on addressing economic inclusion, furthering development of the bio-tech cluster and workforce development, according to the release.