LOUISVILLE, KY (April 6, 2016) – Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement (BEAM) region has significantly contributed to Kentucky’s five straight years of record-breaking growth. BEAM accounts for over half of Kentucky’s exports, which totaled more than $28 billion in 2015.
“Seeing year over year of record-breaking growth is a true testament to our commitment to building export capacity and activity among our region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),” said Fischer. “Our SMEs are a valuable part of the state and regional economy. The continued export development of these firms is critical to a prosperous future for them and our region.”
Exports from the BEAM region include automobiles and parts, machinery, medical and dental equipment, translation management software, rubber and plastics, ceiling fans, disco balls and bourbon.
With grant assistance from JP Morgan Chase, the BEAM region was able to offer monetary awards to qualifying small companies to help them increase both their export capacity and activity.
“International trade provides a pathway for local businesses to create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy,” said Paul Costel, President of the Kentucky market for Chase. “JPMorgan Chase is proud to support the BEAM Kentucky export program and congratulates all of our local businesses that participated and have discovered new international markets. Their success will have a significant impact on our region’s future vitality and economic success.”
JPMorgan Chase funds have also allowed the city to invest in the BEAM Thought Leadership series, which in turn funded speakers for World Trade Center Kentucky in 2014 and the 2014 and 2015 Idea Festival. These investments help to bring global conversations about international business, big picture trends and innovative thinking to the Louisville community. This program has become a model for Chase, and they are working to replicate it in other markets.
To date, more than $8 million in sales have been supported by $170,000 in grants made directly to companies. This activity has supported the early achievement of the mayor’s goal to increase export successes by 50% in five years. The goal was met in three years. These efforts continue to add export successes, with companies entering a new international market and/or expanding sales within an existing international market.
Earlier this year, Fischer announced that the BEAM region had been selected to develop a regional plan to attract and to leverage more foreign direct investment as part of the Global Cities Initiative. Development of the foreign direct investment plan will leverage and expand the city’s focus on international engagement.
Along with JPMorgan Chase and the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Commercial Service, the World Trade Center Kentucky and other partners in the BEAM region provide services and expertise to help regional exporters build capacity, find new customers and develop sustainable plans for growth through exporting.
To learn more about the BEAM region, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/