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UpTech II plants roots in NKY

Business accelerator UpTech has opened the application process for its UpTech II competition to entrepreneurs looking to plant roots in the Northern Kentucky area.

Launched in 2012, the intense, six-month accelerator program provides $50,000 in equity investment and is designed to attract and accelerate entrepreneurs. UpTech also provides a variety of support services, including six months of free office space, access to resources from NKU's College of Informatics, and an executive mentor, as well as financial, legal, accounting, and sales and marketing support.

Read the full story here or learn more at uptechideas.org.

Visitors racing to NKY

Tourism revenue in Kentucky grew 4.4 percent last year, but the increase was more than twice as large in NKY.

Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties saw an economic tourism impact of $325.8 million, a 9.1 percent increase over the $298.5 million impact in 2011. The region’s percentage gain is the biggest in the past five years and second only to 2007.

The increase provides a positive economic impact for the entire Greater Cincinnati region. Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati tourism generated $551 million in state and local tax proceeds last year, according to the Northern Kentucky CVB. That equals a $644 average household tax burden offset.

Read the full story here.

Nth Degree distillery to be part of Bourbon Trail

Nth Degree, a new multi-million dollar bourbon distillery, is in the works in Bellevue, on the campus of The Party Source.
The distillery will be part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and is expected to attract thousands of tourists to NKY's riverfront. 

The "micro-distillery" that will pump about 13 barrels of bourbon per day. The new building will include a roof deck with a capacity of 150 people. 

Read the full story, which includes a video of the construction, here.

Video: This is My Kentucky

What makes Kentucky great? Innovation? Education? Manufacturing? Logistics? Start-ups? Small business? Bourbon? Basketball? 

The Cabinet for Economic Development has launched a new video, This is My Kentucky, that highlights everything that makes Kentucky a great place to live, work, and do business. Watch it here!

Global manufacturing leader Balluff Inc. breaks ground in Independence

A world leader in sensor technology manufacturing with more than 50 years of experience, Balluff Inc. recently announced construction of a new, 48,000-square-foot U.S. headquarters in Independence, Kentucky.
Balluff's President and CEO Kent Howard spoke with Thrive about the forthcoming state-of-the-art customer support, training, and sales/marketing center, slated for completion in March 2014.
"The new facility will be a global showcase for the Balluff group," says Howard. "We will incorporate a high-tech look that reflects our global corporate image and ensures a healthy, comfortable environment for our employees, as demonstrated in the recent renovation we have just completed [at their current NKY location]. We are investigating the best ways to accomplish a zero-emission building … utilizing geothermal or solar for climate control, with an office layout that ensures that all employees have direct sunlight exposure."
Balluff is the U.S. subsidiary of Balluff GmbH, based in Neuhausen, Germany. The company's U.S. headquarters currently employs more than 150 people, and has been located in Independence since 1983, with expansions in 1994 and 2001.
The company expects to add 24 new, full-time resident jobs and invest $6 million as part of the expansion.
Asked what aspects of Northern Kentucky make the region ideal for Balluff's U.S. operations, Howard cited a strong manufacturing core, ease of transport via air and along the I-75 corridor, supportive state and local government, and a skilled, reliable workforce.
"We are very comfortable in NKY and our German parent views us as one of the most productive subsidiaries in the world," says Howard. "We expect to continue our annual double-digit growth, which should get us to $100M by 2016, and we are looking at a global production model that could mean more work for our facility in the future."
Balluff's relationship with the Northern Kentucky Tri-ED was an additional component for continued success in the region, according to Howard.

"We are big fans of Tri-ED; they have been great in helping us navigate the various government organizations to take advantage of business grants and incentives."

Source: Kent Howard, Balluff, Inc.
Writer: Hannah Purnell

Southern Air moves global HQ to Northern Kentucky

Southern Air has opened its new headquarters in Florence near the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The international freight carrier expects to bring 150 jobs to the area.

Reports the Cincinnati Business Courier:

"This was absolutely the right business decision … but it's also the right people decision," Southern Air CEO Dan McHugh told a few dozen Southern Air employees, Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson and other Kentucky state and local officials.
Read the full story here.

ZoomEssence celebrates grand opening of Northern Kentucky location

A research and development firm that converts liquids to powders for flavorings and food ingredients is celebrating the grand opening of its Northern Kentucky location. ZoomEssence expects to create 20 full-time jobs and invest more than $3M in the region's economy. 

Reports The Lane Report:

"ZoomEssence exemplifies the type of success we anticipate for Northern Kentucky companies in the start-up mode," said Gary Moore, Boone County Judge/Executive and chairman of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED. "This company exhibits technical expertise through their employees, products and overall drive to succeed. We are appreciative that they've chosen Northern Kentucky to grow their business and grateful that the ezone, a division of Tri-ED, is able to support this growth."

Read the full story here.

Toyota Georgetown expansion impacts NKY with workforce opportunity

Beginning in 2015, Toyota will build the Lexus ES 350 at its Georgetown, Kentucky plant, boosting production to 550,000 vehicles a year and creating 750 jobs in Kentucky. The company will also invest $531M over several years to upgrade its Georgetown facility. 

Reports the Associated Press:

"It is fitting that the first country to build the ES outside of Japan is the United States," Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda, the company's top executive, said in New York. "This is the home for Lexus. It was where the brand was founded and it is still the biggest market for the luxury brand."
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) approved $146.5 million in state tax incentives to help with the cost of the expansion.
Read the full story here.

Messier-Bugatti-Dowty expands its NKY facility

Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, the world leader in carbon brakes, recently announced the expansion of its facility in Walton.

The expansion will add more than 40 percent surface to the existing carbon brake production facility footprint. This capacity has been added to accommodate a significant increase in the plant's production volumes and refurbishment activities of carbon brake disks for the commercial and military aircraft industry. This $50 million investment is the facility's sixth expansion since its opening in 1999.

"We are very pleased today to inaugurate the facility expansion in Walton. The plant is of one our core wheels and brakes manufacturing facilities, fully dedicated to North American military and commercial programs," said Alain Sauret, chairman and CEO of Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, at the announcement. 

Read the full story here.

Return of Jeff Ruby restaurant revitalizes Covington's development

Jeff Ruby will reopen his Waterfront restaurant on Covington's riverfront, and that could spark further development plans in the neighborhood. 

Reports the Cincinnati Business Courier:
Ruby said the old Waterfront barge will be renovated and a second barge has been purchased. The site will include an atrium, boat docks, firepits, outdoor dining and a new bar.

... Covington leaders believe the Waterfront's return is just the beginning of the big projects coming for the city's riverfront.

"This is something we've been waiting for for a couple of years," [City Manager Larry] Klein said.

Read the full story here.

Lyons Magnus adds 50 jobs in Boone County

Lyons Magnus has announced a $5 million expansion at its plant in Boone County. The expansion is expected to add up to 50 jobs. 
The fruit and beverage manufacturing company currently employs 120 people.

Reports the Cincinnati Enquirer:
"We are excited to continue the expansion of our Kentucky facility as we grow our market share in the food service and industrial markets we serve," said Robert Smittcamp, chairman and CEO of Lyons Magnus.
"The Kentucky facility is an important asset as this location allows us to serve 60 percent of the U.S. population from this central location."

Read the full story here.

Normand Desmarais appointed to Kentucky Commission on Small Business Adocacy

A leader in Northern Kentucky's business community has been selected to help guide Kentucky's efforts to better serve the state's small businesses.

Normand Desmarais, founding partner and chairman of the board of TiER1 Performance Solutions, will join the Kentucky Commission on Small Business Advocacy. Governor Steve Beshear selected Desmarais to represent the 4th Congressional District for a three-year term.

TiER1, based in Covington, has seen accelerating success since winning its first contract in 2002, when the company was based out of a dining room. TiER1 has been included on the Inc. 5000 list every year since 2007 and in 2012 was ranked twelfth on Inc. 5000's Top 100 Kentucky Companies list. TiER1 has also played a catalytic role in Covington specifically. Last year, it co-hosted a forum on growing Covington's IT sector and partnered with Gateway Community and Technical College (soon to boast an urban campus in Covington) on an associate degree program in instructional design and learning technologies.

"Norm Desmarais and TiER1 Performance Solutions are long-term supporters of the entrepreneur network, Northern Kentucky ezone and the City of Covington," said Dan Tobergte, CEO and President of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, in a press release. "We are pleased that Governor Beshear recognized Normand's expertise and TiER1's growth, involvement and advocacy of Northern Kentucky and small businesses. Normand and TiER1 have served as mentors to many start-ups and entrepreneurs, helping to grow our region's entrepreneurial climate."

The Kentucky Commission on Small Business Advocacy (CSBA) supports Kentucky's Small Business Services Division in responding to the needs of the state's small business. The Commission's mission is "to make the Commonwealth of Kentucky a state that is friendly to small businesses through education, cooperation, and advocacy," as stated on its website.

To learn more about Northern Kentucky Tri-ED's work to support the region's businesses, visit NorthernKentuckyUSA.com.

NKY leads CMSA in primary industry job creation and capital investment

Twenty-four projects in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton County had a total economic impact of $777M on the Cincinnati MSA economy, according to an economic impact analysis by the Center for Economic Analysis and Development (CEAD) at Northern Kentucky University. 

The projects included 12 new companies that located in Northern Kentucky and 12 existing companies that expanded. The indirect effect of those projects are projected to add 6,924 new jobs to the CMSA. That's the fourth-highest number of jobs created since Tri-ED was founded 25 years ago.

Read the full report here.

NKY Signature Campaign provides business solutions to local businesses and national prospects

Northern Kentucky Tri-ED has launched a new marketing campaign for the region that highlights real estate options available throughout the region.
The Northern Kentucky Signature Sites and Buildings catalog, available both in print and online at NorthernKentuckyUSA.com, features representative real estate solutions throughout the urban core, suburban and rural landscape in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties.

Reports The Lane Report: 

"Our momentum is continuing to build on many fronts, as a result of years of a very aggressive and targeted marketing and outreach program," said Steve Pendery, chair-elect of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and chair of the Tri-ED Marketing Committee. "We have many opportunities for new and existing companies to expand in our area, both along the Ohio River and in more suburban and rural settings. With the catalog and supporting marketing efforts, we are showcasing Northern Kentucky to site selection experts, the real estate community and targeted businesses throughout the U.S. and around the world."
Read the full story here.

NKY Boost promotes employee retention

In an early success story for NKY Boost -- the business retention and expansion program of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED -- a local employer is retaining talent through a partnership with Tri-ED and the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) that offers a solution for employees who use public transit.

Reports the Cincinnati Enquirer: 

[Tri-ED] arranged a series of meetings between Club Chef and the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky. Now, a TANK bus line runs from downtown Cincinnati to the back door of the company's South Covington plant.
Morale and productivity are up because employees are happier – and less fatigued – when they arrive at work. And company officials have eliminated a significant barrier to recruiting new workers.

Read the full story here.
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Learn more about the organizations serving Northern Kentucky at www.NorthernKentuckyUSA.com