March is always transition season in Kentucky. Just when you think you have an idea what is what, it changes. It also makes you realize how much you take for granted. Five years ago Wednesday we had tornadoes in the area. This past week, nearly everyone we know knew someone that lost their power or was affected by the weather. I am just glad no one got hurt and spring is on the way.
Monday started off on the run for the Alliance. I had the opportunity to speak before the Russell City Council on employment and activity in the region. Of course, their is one major question that we didn’t have the answer for; the future of AK Steel blast furnace. We did share with them the information that we had. The steel industry is pushing the administration on several fronts in support of American Steel Production. This is being hampered by the number of key level appointee’s not being filled on a timely basis. Organizations like USTR (United States Trade Representative) which handles trade issues, wait for their secretaries and deputy secretaries to be appointed by Congress. Issues like tracking where products were manufactured all are being stalled at our borders by the pace of administrative change in Washington.
Other issues discussed ranged from our recent company site visit to continued work on Aerospace and regional collaboration with groups supporting economic development. We also discussed tourism and railroad freight being moved in our area.
Tuesday, there was a bit of Christmas in the air. Before you think I have lost it; it was the annual volunteer appreciation dinner for the Winter Wonderland of Lights. This was a great time for the committee and their families to come together, have a meal, celebrate a successful season and plant the seed for the next Winter Wonderland of Lights season. Awards were given out for best lights and displays. More than anything, it was just a chance to say thank you and let’s make it even better this year.
The Youth Leadership Committee met to plan this year’s graduation being held at Kings Daughters on March 14th. This year’s class is nearly over but the benefits of this group, and the people that give their time, is felt for years.
Finally, with spring on its way, it is time to get out and about. The Alliance is going to do our best to give you, the business community, a chance to highlight your business and make new connections. We have a number of Business After Hours coming soon. The next one is March 14th. Citizens Bank always has a great turnout for their March Madness event. I look forward to working with each one of you as winter fades in the green of spring.
Thank you for allowing us to service you and your business.
Let’s move Northeast Kentucky ahead together.
House Bill 183 Update – Senate approves measure
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A state bill that could help attract business to downtown Ashland by slashing the minimum seating requirement for businesses to sell alcohol to 50 is en route to the Senate.
House Bill 183 was approved 57 to 25 Wednesday night on the House floor.
A provision of the bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, would grant “a city with a population of 20,000 or more to adopt an ordinance for 50-seat restaurants if that city already has 100-seat restaurants through a local option election.”
Ashland has allowed the sale of alcohol since an election in 1980, but with a caveat unique to the rest of the state.
The city’s alcohol status only allows the sale of alcoholic beverages by the drink and package in two “limited sale” precincts in the downtown area. By state law, restaurant owners who wish to sell alcohol by the drink must provide at least 100 seats for customers, and sales of food and alcoholic drinks must be split evenly at 50 percent.
The city’s status also prohibits bars from opening in the city. That provision would not change if HB 183 becomes law.
City officials and members of the Ashland Alliance have pushed for similar legislation over the past four years.
The Bottom Line
Tuesday 3/14: Business After Hours Citizens Bank of Kentucky (5:00 pm)
Are you hiring? Let us post your openings. This is a service we offer free to our members. We hope to help you get the word out about what you need for your business!
Spring Golf Outing
The Ashland Alliance’s annual golf outing will be May 5 at Bellefonte Country Club. DOWNLOAD REGISTRATION FORM HERE