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New businesses, jobs come to county

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By Calen McKinney

 

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Economic development is on the rise in Taylor County, evident with the addition of several new businesses and restaurants in the community.

According to Campbellsville/Taylor County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Ron McMahan, several companies have expressed great interest in setting up shop in Taylor County.

“There’s been more activity in the past two to three months than in the previous year,” he said.

“That speaks well of the community and the economic stability of the community. As the EDA’s executive director, McMahan also works with the county’s current businesses that might want to expand. He says several have expressed interest in doing that.

“That always points to positive growth,” he said.

Any retail investment in Taylor County is good, he said, and can be considered growth for the community, and proof that it isn’t declining or stagnating.

“Any new entrepreneur investment in a community is always good news,” he said.

Along with that investment, he said, comes jobs, which provides income for Taylor County residents. And in turn, those residents will spend their money at other businesses and pay taxes.

Taylor County residents will soon see some new businesses opening.

Aaron’s Inc. will soon open a store in Campbellsville, next to Sonic. The business sells and leases furniture, electronics, home appliances and more.

Jodi S. Sullivan, accounting and business manager at Fairway Leasing LLC, an independently owned and operated franchise of Aaron’s Inc., said the fran
chise will open a new location, its 10th, this June in Campbellsville.

Other Aaron’s stores are located throughout Central and Southern Kentucky.

Sullivan said franchise owner Todd Wilkins hand-selected Campbellsville as a location to open the new business.

“When compared with other areas, Campbellsville appealed to him both professionally and personally with the warm, hometown feel he got from the city and the people he encountered during his search for the perfect new location,” Sullivan said.

The new store opening will create five jobs immediately, Sullivan said, with the potential to offer more. Those interested in applying can submit resumes at fairwayleasing.hireology.com/careers.

Dollar General will open a new location on Federal Place soon. This is second store the company has added in Taylor County recently. Another was opened on KY 55 in late December.

According to Jaclyn Dees, communications specialist with Dollar General, the new store is being built to replace another of the stores currently open in Taylor County. Dees said she doesn’t know which of the current stores will be moving. A grand opening celebration is planned for this summer.

The new store will employ six to 10 people, Dees said, and contain 7,200 square feet.

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores opened a store next to Tractor Supply Co. last week, and store manager Ronnie Stamps said it is already seeing success.

Stamps said the response to the store has been exciting.

“Just a lot of people excited that we’re in the community,” he said. “Because there’s nothing like this here.

“The response from the community has been awesome. We do appreciate everyone’s support.”

Stamps said 53 employees were hired to help the business set up shop. Jo-Ann’s now has 20 part-time staff, he said.

The store opened March 11, a day earlier than planned, Stamps said, and has hit sales goals each day since, except for its first Sunday, which was expected.

Stamps said he wasn’t involved with the decision to build a Jo-Ann’s store in Campbellsville, though he believes that could possibly be thanks to the county’s high population of quilters, who now don’t have to travel out of town to search for their supplies.

In addition to the chain stores Jo-Ann’s, Aaron’s and Dollar General, McMahan said there are several other projects in the works in the community, including a new gym in the Nancy Cox Drive area, some restaurants coming to Main Street and some expansions, to name a few.

And while economic development continues to boom in Taylor County, McMahan said the population is also growing, and has steadily at least 1 to 2 percent in each of the last 10 to 15 years. The Census has predicted that growth will continue.

He said some companies want even higher growth when considering where to locate, however, and might not locate in Taylor County because of that.

But when a community grows more than 1 to 2 percent, he said, it can sometimes not be able to keep up, in terms of providing services to the masses.

Taylor County has continued to see low unemployment rates, McMahan said, that are often the lowest in the Lake Cumberland area.

Even though unemployment figures in Taylor County hover at a very low 7 percent, he said, that means there are still workers out there who need jobs.

And even though Taylor County is becoming home to some new businesses, others have had to close their doors in the past few years.

McMahan said he believes businesses typically close for one of three reasons. He said businesses might not have the right product, its product was too expensive or the customer service at the establishment was poor.

Nevertheless, McMahan said, the new additions in the community show there are businesses willing to invest capital in Campbellsville.

“That speaks well,” he said.

There has also been interest expressed in some retailers locating and living in downtown Campbellsville.

“That’s a good sign, too,” he said.

It’s also good when residents begin their own businesses in a community, McMahan said, as some have.

“That also bodes well for a community, when outsiders and locals are looking to open businesses.”