SOMERSET, Ky. — A Pulaski County lady is Kentucky’s 2020 Small Enterprise Advocate.
Amanda Kelly, Small Enterprise Coaching Director for the Southeast Kentucky Financial Growth Company (SKED), is amongst seven women and men honored by the Kentucky District Workplace of the U.S. Small Enterprise Administration (SBA) for his or her work within the small enterprise neighborhood this yr. Kelly’s choice acknowledges her work because the director of SKED’s Entrepreneurial SMARTS coaching program and creator of the digital advertising and marketing course Be Boss On-line.
“I’m actually grateful to be named Kentucky’s Small Enterprise Advocate of the 12 months,” Kelly mentioned. “Nevertheless, I can’t take all of the credit score. What we do at SKED is a group effort. Kyle Smith (SKED small enterprise coaching specialist) and I’ve spent numerous hours creating and enhancing Entrepreneurial SMARTS and Be Boss On-line; with out his help and contributions, we would not be the place we’re at present.”
Different SBA 2020 Kentucky Award winners embody: SBA 2020 Kentucky Small Enterprise Particular person of the 12 months: Mavis Linnemann Clark, The Delish Dish in Covington, Ky.; SBA 2020 Kentucky Minority-Owned Small Enterprise of the 12 months: Steven Dunn, Dunn Electrical, LLC in Louisville; SBA 2020 Kentucky Rural Owned Small Enterprise of the 12 months (tie): Josh Howard, Howard Legislation Agency, PLC in Pineville, Ky.; SBA 2020 Kentucky Rural Owned Small Enterprise of the 12 months (tie): Steve Whitaker, Whitaker Pharmacy, Inc. in Mount Sterling, Ky.; SBA 2020 Kentucky Lady Owned Small Enterprise of the 12 months: Christy Clark, Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar, LLC in Bardstown, Ky. and SBA 2020 Kentucky Younger Entrepreneur of the 12 months: Rodricka O’Bannon, C&R Magnificence Bar in Louisville, Ky.
SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza acknowledged, “It is an honor to acknowledge the Nationwide Small Enterprise Week state and territorial winners from throughout the nation, whose distinctive laborious work has created and constructed profitable small companies. These men and women not solely realized their desires of entrepreneurship however are additionally great job creators. They symbolize 30 million small companies – our nation’s innovators and risk-takers.”
SKED is a 34-year-old nonprofit, financial growth group and Group Growth Monetary Establishment primarily based in Somerset. Along with educating programs for each of those distinctive entrepreneurial applications, Kelly works to offer free technical help to small enterprise house owners throughout SKED’s 45-county service area.
“Technical Help is available in all styles and sizes; each enterprise wants and deserves assist tailor-made to them,” Kelly acknowledged. “As a result of SKED works as a group to deploy its small enterprise loans and coaching, I’m launched to entrepreneurs throughout our 45-county service territory. I’m blessed to be SKED’s Small Enterprise Coaching Director, and I get to work on daily basis with a few of the best folks I’ve ever met.”
Kelly joined SKED in 2015, following a profitable profession within the personal sector. Since then, she has labored with a whole lot of small enterprise house owners via the Entrepreneurial SMARTS coaching program.
“It wasn’t intentional,” Kelly mentioned of her determination to coach different enterprise leaders. “I had the chance to take a category SKED supplied and I used to be so impressed with this system that when the coaching director place got here open I knew it was one thing I wished to be part of.”
Nearly instantly, she noticed the necessity to develop a technical help answer to show enterprise house owners tips on how to make the most of digital advertising and marketing and social media to develop their companies. So, she developed Be Boss On-line, a 12-hour course masking the next for small companies: social media presence, web site growth, on-line analytics, SEO, electronic mail advertising and marketing and associated subjects.
In 2018, she delivered greater than 1,000 hours of technical help to 76 companies within the SKED service space. Final yr, she not solely equaled that spectacular tempo but additionally transformed Be Boss On-line to movies delivered via a cell app to extend accessibility.
Along with her full-time work at SKED, she is an lively member of the East Kentucky Technical Help Suppliers Community. Fulfilling one other small enterprise want, Kelly additionally created the SBS Networking Group, which incorporates enterprise house owners and professionals within the Somerset space who meet to debate challenges, clear up issues and supply assist.
“I get to assist folks attain their desires on daily basis,” Kelly mentioned of her work. “What could possibly be higher than that?”
Outdoors of labor, the mom of two volunteers for the Youth Entrepreneur Academy program and coaches her youngsters in varied sports activities actions.
After being postponed in Could because of COVID-19, SBA Nationwide Small Enterprise Week will probably be celebrated September 22-24. Kelly spoke about how the pandemic has impacted native companies.
“Quite a few the companies I work with have been pressured to shut for a time period,” she mentioned. “In March issues began taking place so rapidly [that] most companies weren’t ready. That being mentioned, I’ve been amazed on the ingenuity of the small enterprise house owners in japanese Kentucky. Nearly all companies discovered a approach to pivot and proceed to fulfill the wants of their prospects. I actually consider there’s nothing our small enterprise house owners cannot overcome.”
SKED continues to assist however is providing digital programming at any time when potential.
“We’ve executed numerous Zoom conferences on subjects equivalent to PPP Loans, cyber safety, digital advertising and marketing and monetary planning for the companies,” Kelly continued. “Expertise has allowed us to succeed in much more small companies now than we did previous to COVID-19. Each Thursday at 10 a.m. we host Espresso Discuss reside on Fb.…Matters we now have coated embody, tips on how to replace your Google Enterprise Itemizing, interviews with enterprise house owners, query and reply periods, electronic mail advertising and marketing, instruments suggestions and methods to make advertising and marketing simpler, and tips on how to discover new prospects, simply to call just a few. We plan to proceed internet hosting these Fb Stay occasions even after COVID-19 as a result of our shoppers discover them useful. Whereas I do miss attending to go see my shoppers, I’m grateful that we now have the instruments and assets to have the ability to proceed to help these companies once they want it essentially the most.”
To be taught extra about how SKED helps small enterprise house owners overcome obstacles and be taught to do enterprise higher, go to: www.skedcorp.com.