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Scheper: Covington left well-positioned

In an op-ed for the Cincinnati Enquirer, former Mayor of Covington Chuck Scheper writes that the turn-around Covington experienced during his term would not have been possible without "collaborative leadership and fact-based decision making."

Writes Scheper: 

Covington is a city with many diverse assets and opportunities. We have historic neighborhoods and yet we embrace the modern architecture of the Ascent. We have a diverse population and were the first city in our region to adopt a human-rights ordinance. We have old businesses like Motch Jewelers, which has been in operation for 155 years. We have new technology companies like Tier 1 and C-Forward. We have traditional manufacturing companies and an emerging life-science corridor led by Bexion Pharmaceuticals. And we have more public green space than any other city in Northern Kentucky.
 
When you step back and admire the individual colors that make up our mosaic city, you see a beautiful picture that is Covington. I "Love the Cov," and so do many developers we've been courting.

Read the full op-ed here.

Newport's core ripe for resurgence

An in-depth look at Newport's Monmouth Street finds the corridor poised for a big revitalization. The city of Newport has created a "fitness corridor," a revived Southgate House draws crowds, and development projects such as the Saratoga Flats, a 102-unit apartment complex a block from Newport on the Levee, are creating space for urban residents. 

In between, on seven-tenths of a mile between Third and 11th streets, are more than 100 businesses, restaurants, bars and retail establishments. They include decades-long fixtures such as Ebert's Meats, trendy new hangouts such as Mammoth Café, [and] growing employers such as Red Hawk Technologies. ... 
 
The area is thriving, with fewer than a dozen vacant storefronts along the eight-block corridor.
 
"They've done a very good job revitalizing that district," said Jeanne Schroer, executive director of the Catalytic Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky, an urban development agency. "The appearance of the district looks very good. And I think the kind of businesses they've already attracted are very conducive to the kind of residents that would be the perfect target for (Saratoga Flats)."

Read the full story here.

Newport's core ripe for resurgence

An in-depth look at Newport's Monmouth Street finds the corridor poised for a big revitalization. The city of Newport has created a "fitness corridor," a revived Southgate House draws crowds, and development projects such as the Saratoga Flats, a 102-unit apartment complex a block from Newport on the Levee, are creating space for urban residents. 

In between, on seven-tenths of a mile between Third and 11th streets, are more than 100 businesses, restaurants, bars and retail establishments. They include decades-long fixtures such as Ebert's Meats, trendy new hangouts such as Mammoth Café, [and] growing employers such as Red Hawk Technologies. ... 
 
The area is thriving, with fewer than a dozen vacant storefronts along the eight-block corridor.
 
"They've done a very good job revitalizing that district," said Jeanne Schroer, executive director of the Catalytic Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky, an urban development agency. "The appearance of the district looks very good. And I think the kind of businesses they've already attracted are very conducive to the kind of residents that would be the perfect target for (Saratoga Flats)."

Read the full story here.

More growth ahead for booming Boone County

Boone County's population is projected to hit 186,000 by 2030, according to the Kentucky State Data Center. The county has experienced the greatest population increase in the state over the last decade and is poised for even more economic development activity in coming years.
 
Twenty-three projects have been approved for state tax incentives since January 2012. 

Reports the Enquirer:

"Boone County has been at the forefront and has really driven Northern Kentucky's economic development boom," said Karen Finan, senior vice president of the Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED). "The availability of real estate, the growth in the workforce, as well as the retail and medical services, create a strong business environment."

Read the full story here.

Southern Air moving headquarters to CVG to be nearer to DHL

Southern Air, an air freight operator, is moving its headquarters to the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). The move will bring Southern Air closer to its largest customer, DHL, which also has it major operations at CVG. Northern Kentucky already represents Southern Air's largest hub of activity.
 
The move has been in the works since mid-2012. Read the full story here.

bioLOGIC is bigger and open for business

Covington's bioLOGIC is expanding and expecting to attract related companies. The life sciences incubator will triple its size when it moves in its newest companies in March. 
 
"Our goal is to be the first stop and the first step for anything in life science. They can start here and if there are resources on the Kentucky side that are good for them we'll take them that direction. If it's on the Ohio side, we can work though that as well."
 
Northern Kentucky Tri-ED hopes to connect these growing life sciences companies to resources and support in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties. Says Karen Finan, Senior Vice President of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, in a report from WVXU: 
 
"And while I can't name companies specific at this point, I can say that we do expect a number of announcements over the course of this year and next as we continue to get the word out about life sciences in Northern Kentucky in concert with the availability down at the bioLOGIC Center."

Read or listen to the full story here.

Boone boom keeps expansion going

Boone County had more new economic development projects than any metropolitan area of comparable size in the country in 2011, according to the Northern Kentucky Tri-ED.
 
A total of 18 economic development projects were announced in Boone County in 2011. The positive economic development outlook in the region has continued throughout 2012 and into 2013, where in Boone County alone, 23 projects have  received at least preliminary approval for state tax incentives since Jan. 1, 2012, according to a database maintained by the Cabinet for Economic Development.

Read the full story here.

Frontier flights may add $16M to economy

Frontier Airlines' arrival at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport this spring is projected to have a $16 million annual impact on the local economy, according to results of an airport-commissioned study.
 
That is for one nonstop flight, six days a week between CVG and Denver International Airport.

Reports the Cincinnati Enquirer:
The number is large and it may be surprising, but it should remind people that airline flights are of high value to the community, said aviation consultant Michael Miller, who did the study for CVG.
 
Read the full story here.


New retail development coming to Northern Kentucky

An Indiana company purchased about 1.6 acres of land in Northern Kentucky for a new retail development.
 
Thompson Thrift Development bought the land at 2800 Alexandria Pike, near Northern Kentucky University, and plans to build a more than 13,000-square-foot retail center. The project will be anchored by City Barbecue, Firehouse Subs, Pizza Hut and Ft. Thomas Jewelers. About 5,300 square feet remains available for lease.

Read the full story here.

Legion Logistics adds 24 employees, $1M investment

A company that began in a Union, KY basement is expanding, adding 24 jobs and a $1 million investment to the region.
 
It's the second expansion in just one year for Legion Logistics, which moved to its current facility in Florence in March 2012. Last year, Legion tripled its workforce. This expansion will more than double it, and add 2500 square feet to its existing space to meet growing customer demand.
 
Legion was founded in 2009 by Tony Coutsoftides, a service-disabled veteran who immigrated to the U.S. from Cyprus when he was 16 years old to pursue a career in the military. After his injury, he translated his skill and experience in military logistics into an innovative customer service-based business that filled a need in the market. 
 
"Our mission is to be the best service provider we can be," says Lacy Starling, president of Legion Logistics. "That means providing our customers with seamless solutions, working with carriers to be ethical … [and] creating a work environment where people feel ownership, understand what their work means, are part of the goal-setting process, and are excited to come to work every day." 
 
Starling credits a supportive environment for business growth for Legion's decision to stay in Northern Kentucky. 
 
"We had options when we looked to move out of the house," Starling says. "It was a question of: Where do we feel at home in the community? Where have we been accepted and welcomed? Whenever we reach out to the Northern Kentucky community, we're referred to folks who are willing to just bend over backward to help you … and are willing to help you tap into their networks." 
 
Legion's expansion was aided by the Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) program. To encourage the investment and job creation in Northern Kentucky, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $300,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
 
Coutsoftides, Starling and their employees have collaboratively set aggressive goals for the company's growth this year, so Northern Kentucky can look to Legion for more good news in the future.
 
"Our recruiting staff is sort of bleeding from the eyes right now, but when your employees set those goals and are involved in the process, they put in the extra time and effort to make it happen," Starling says. "I believe 100% that my employees can accomplish anything they put their mind to. I have no doubt that we're going to get there."

Gov. Beshear digs NKY nursing facility

Governor Beshear broke ground this month on a nursing facility in Cold Spring, KY that will add 200 jobs and a $24M investment to the local economy.
 
"Any time we can announce something like that, you can bet I'll be here," Beshear said at the press conference. 

The Carespring Health Care Management transitional facility will provide care to residents that need extra services as well as short-term rehabiliation services.

Read the full story here.
 


Westpack to locate new manufacturing facility in Covington, create 63 jobs

With a low cost of business, high quality of life, and lots of bourbon, Kentucky just makes sense for Westpack. 
 
The Russia-based bottle decorating and packaging company could have located their new manufacturing facility anywhere in the world. But expanding into the U.S. market was a natural next step for the company, which has plants throughout Europe.  

Kentucky turned out to be the perfect fit. Westpack will establish its U.S. manufacturing operations in Covington, creating 63 jobs and investing nearly $4.5 million in the local economy.
 
"Selecting the right state for our production was a function of customer logistics, business operating costs and quality of life," said Simon Mnoyan, Westpack Managing Director, in a press release. "The Commonwealth of Kentucky provided and met all three requirements for our expansion. We would like to express our gratitude to the Commonwealth and the city of Covington for guidance and support in our endeavor."
 
Westpack joins approximately 420 internationally-based companies from 30 nations in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which together employ nearly 80,000 people.
 
Westpack will mainly serve spirit, wine, and of course bourbon producers, as well as the perfume and cosmetic industries. The company will also produce promotional tumblers and other items for the tableware industry, according to Sam Popianksy, director of business development for Westpack. The company's services include screen printing, etching and frosting, electrostatic and liquid organic spray coating, automated hot stamping, PSL and decal application.
 
The company will locate in an redeveloped vacant building in the Latonia neighborhood. 
 
"The redeveloped building will hopefully attract new companies to the area and breathe new life into the market," says Karen Finan, senior VP at Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation.
 
To encourage the investment and job creation in Covington, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority  preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $1.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
 
Read more news about growing companies in Northern Kentucky at NorthernKentuckyUSA.com

Caitlin Koenig of Soapbox contributed reporting to this story. 

Thousands of jobs created in Boone County in 2012

New and existing companies created or committed to create thousands of jobs in Boone County in 2012, in part due to efforts by Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corportation. 

Writes Boone County Judge / Executive Gary Moore in an op-ed for the Cincinnati Enquirer:

As chair of Tri-ED's Board of Directors and chair of the business retention and expansion committee, I was pleased to assist with the launch of NKY Boost, an enhanced effort to serve our existing businesses in Boone County and Northern Kentucky. Our goal is to visit primary industry employers in Boone County on a regular basis. We will be meeting with companies that directly create jobs in fields of advanced manufacturing and technology. Through these meetings, we will help our existing companies address workforce needs, identify expansion opportunities and facilitate solutions to any challenges they are facing. Duke Energy's sponsorship and ongoing support of this program is a groundbreaking move for the community and will have tremendous impact on our business base. 
 
Read the full story here.

Kentucky among top 10 in the U.S. for education

Kentucky's ranking in an annual ranking of states on key education indicators rose four places in 2012, making it tenth in the nation for its efforts to improve teaching, raise student achievement, crade-to-career efforts, and other variables related to public education.
 
Each year, Education Week produces a special issue, "Quality Counts." The report tracks key education indicators and grades states on their policy efforts and outcomes. Last year, Kentucky ranked 14th in the nation. In 2010, the state was in 34th place in this annual report.

On the release of the report, Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday called Kentucky an "emerging leader in education" in the United States. 

Read the full story here.

Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana sign landmark water agreement to spur innovation

Here comes the flood: Water is about to be a life force for innovation in Northern Kentucky.

Regulators from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana signed a landmark agreement this month aimed at making Greater Cincinnati more attractive location for water technology companies.
 
The multi-state memorandum of understanding has been brokered over the past two years by Confluence, a nonprofit working to make the broader Dayton-Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky region an international hub for water technology research and commercialization. It was signed on January 16. 

Reports the Cincinnati Business Courier:

Prior to the agreement, a company that wanted to test some new water technology had to apply for permits one state at a time, jumping through the same regulatory hoops over and over. This agreement allows Confluence to work with companies to complete testing that can be approved by all three states at once – dramatically speeding time to market. It also should help state agencies, which struggle with the manpower to process such approvals, said Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally, a big supporter of the MOU.
 
Read the exclusive report here.

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