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Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement

AN INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIP

The Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement (BEAM) was launched by Mayor Greg Fischer and Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington in 2011. Bringing together the 22 counties that include and surround Lexington and Louisville, this strategic partnership implements a regional economic development approach for the state’s two largest metropolitan areas.

BEAM seeks to build on the region’s existing strengths of robust manufacturing and innovation. Working together, the Mayors believe they can foster increased growth in manufacturing and strengthen the foundation of a prosperous future for companies, employees, and entrepreneurs.


BUILD IT LOCALLY/SELL IT GLOBALLY

In 2012, the Mayors launched a goal, “Build it Locally/Sell it Globally” to increase export successes by 50% in five years. The BEAM focus on exporting supports BEAM’s broader goal to promote growth among the region’s firms. Research shows that exporting firms – whether manufacturing or services – grow faster and can afford to pay their workers better than non-exporting firms. 

The BEAM region, like Kentucky as a whole, has made remarkable strides in exporting in the last decade. Kentucky companies exported to nearly 200 countries in 2013 and pushed the state’s exports to an all-time high. BEAM region companies produce over half of the state’s total exports.

But we know the best is yet to come!

GRANT SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS

The BEAM Kentucky Export Promotion Program supports qualifying small firms with financial assistance for business and export development services to prepare for exporting, understand and identify new sales opportunities, and participate in meetings, trade shows, and trade missions.

Visit the Export Promotion Program page to learn more about the program.


SMALL BUSINESS EXPORTERS

About 90% of Kentucky’s exporters are small firms, most with fewer than 20 employees. Exporting firms are able to grow faster, pay better wages, and weather economic changes better than non-exporters.

Yet, many small firms in Kentucky have an exportable product or service but don’t export—or, don’t export as much as they could. Some can’t dedicate financial resources to exploring new exporting opportunities; others fear that their expertise, supply chain, or operational systems can’t manage this type of growth.

With global consumption spending set to more than double by 2035, it is time to figure out these challenges! More than 80% of this growth will happen outside the U.S. and Europe. Will you be ready?