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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sec. Grimes Seek Input On Brent Spence Bridge, Other Economic Issues at Northern Kentucky Business Forum

Kentucky Sec. of State, Alison Lundegan Grimes. Provided. 
Though the Brent Spence Bridge project is not a Fort Thomas issue it will undoubtedly affect everyone in Northern Kentucky in one way or another.

Sec. of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s chief business officer, has emphasized the importance of building a new Brent Spence Bridge during frequent visits to Northern Kentucky. She will discuss the bridge and other pressing economic issues with community and business leaders during a forum at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Braxton Brewing Company in Covington.

“The Brent Spence Bridge in Northern Kentucky must be replaced, not just for transportation purposes, but for business as well,” said Grimes. “I hope this meeting will emphasize how important the bridge is to the region’s economy and renew the call to our General Assembly to provide funding for this vital project."

“During my campaign last year, I laid out a plan for a new bridge, without tolls, paid for by closing tax loopholes for billionaires. That would have worked, but one way or another, we must build this bridge, and we must get started quickly. Economic growth in the Northern Kentucky-Cincinnati region – and indeed in all of Kentucky and many other states – depends on completing this bridge project.”

The meeting in Covington is the fourth stop on Grimes’ “Kentucky Means Business” listening tour, which is helping to shape a plan to foster further economic growth in the Commonwealth. The next forum at Braxton Brewing Company will be followed by a tour of the state-of-the-art facility.

“Over the past four years, I have overseen a $10 million expansion of the Kentucky Business One Stop Portal and more than 100,000 businesses opening their doors in Kentucky,” said Grimes. “I’m proud of our accomplishments, and I’m excited to continue to identify ways we can continue to help businesses thrive.”

Grimes’ listening tour includes 10 stops, covering all regions of the Commonwealth. In addition to meeting with representatives from chambers of commerce and area development districts, business owners, professional organizations and elected officials, Grimes is touring local businesses to see firsthand how government is working for Kentucky business, and how it could be improved.

“This tour isn’t about pushing an agenda,” said Grimes. “It’s about getting feedback from those who are on the front lines of economic development and creating an agenda that accurately reflects the needs of new and existing businesses.”

Following the forum, Grimes will tour Braxton Brewing’s state-of-the-art facility. Braxton Brewing is a small, family business that started in a home garage. Following the most successful brewery campaign in Kickstarter history, earlier this year Braxton opened Northern Kentucky’s first free-standing microbrewery.

Beyond brewing, Braxton blends technology with its beer, offering free wi-fi, smartphone chargers, and a custom mobile app that not only guides users to the nearest Braxton brew but also integrates Uber ridesharing services to help them get home safely. Braxton also supports other local businesses, partnering with local restaurants from which visitors can order food. 

“Braxton is on the cutting edge of micro-brewing,” said Grimes. “I’m excited to see how they are taking advantage of modern phenomena like crowdfunding, social media, and new technologies and look forward to exploring ways we can put those concepts to work for other Kentucky businesses.”

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