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January 18, 2024 5:02pm

From the Desk of the CEO: January 2024

It’s hard to believe January is almost over. While it sometimes feels like the longest month of the year, there has been a whirlwind of activity at GLI this month. Last week, we brought together over 1,000 top business leaders for Annual Meeting presented by Baird. Earlier this month, the 2024 Kentucky General Assembly kicked off promising legislative action on some of our top priorities to make Greater Louisville more competitive. And we are currently gearing up for the launch of a national marketing campaign in partnership with Louisville Metro Government. Learn more about our priorities and marketing campaign in this month’s ‘From the Desk of the CEO’ blog.

The Legislature is in session

The General Assembly is underway and it promises to be an eventful budget session. There are a number of impactful priorities we hope to see movement on this year, including:

  • Local tax reform, which we have pushed for more than a decade. Through a constitutional amendment that would be voted on in November, legislators have the opportunity to give local governments more flexibility to generate revenue. This will help further move our state from a production-based tax model to a consumption-based model and provide more options to local governments to create a taxing structure that works best for them.
  • Revamping Kentucky’s business incentives to be more competitive with peer regions. We would like to see changes to the Kentucky Business Investment Program, or KBI, that would expand its usage and allow it to be used for business services and technology companies. Making these changes would help Kentucky attract businesses which are not capital intensive, but which create high paying wages and utilize empty office space, possibly in our downtown area.
  • Funding for a statewide talent attraction campaign with money included specifically for regional initiatives, like Live in Lou, that proactively encourage individuals with training in high-demand industry sectors to live and work in Kentucky. Access to skilled talent remains a barrier for many existing businesses, and that poses a great challenge as we work to bring in new jobs and grow our economy.

All of our advocacy work is on your behalf, and we are proud that our 2024 legislative priorities are a reflection of the Greater Louisville business community through our thorough issue advisory committee and Public Policy Council processes. However, we still need your engagement. Consider joining us on March 5 for our annual GLI Advocacy Day in Frankfort to meet directly with Greater Louisville legislators and talk about the issues most important to your business. If you are interested in advocating on a specific issue, always free to reach out and we are happy to help you get engaged.

Economic growth opportunities

As we work to create a more competitive business environment, we are also working to cue up opportunities for the future. In the next week, we are rolling out a national economic development marketing campaign through funding from Louisville Metro. The goal is to create new jobs and investment in growth-oriented fields through strategic marketing of the 14-county region.

Last year, GLI’s regional project pipeline grew by 93% and our goal is to keep that trend going. Through print and digital advertising and strategic marketing, we will market Louisville to relocating and expanding businesses. We will target specific industries like:

  • biomedical manufacturing/advanced manufacturing in the biosciences​
  • life sciences logistics​
  • digital health and artificial intelligence​
  • electric vehicle battery production supply chain

And we will target the following markets:

  • Boston, MA​
  • San Francisco, CA​
  • Washington, D.C.​
  • Chicago, IL​

These markets were identified through analysis where Louisville offers a competitive advantage in costs of doing business and resources. The campaign will direct interested businesses to the Greater Louisville Partnership webpage where they can connect with GLI’s team to help facilitate requests for research, RFI’s, and referrals to county partners once a county location is determined.

Thanks to the partnership with Louisville Metro, we have also increased our economic development staff by three positions which gives us more capacity to handle the large influx of projects we hope to receive from the marketing campaign. I am eager to see and share the results with you in the coming months, and I am looking forward to another year serving the Greater Louisville business community!