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Entrepreneurship Awards

Anything to stimulate more individuals in starting up a business is a good thing.

The Commonwealth is finally catching on to this idea.  Read more.

“In the third annual statewide business plan competition held by the Cabinet for Economic Development, 18 teams of university students earned a combined $100,000 in prizes and awards for developing concepts and plans for new business ventures.

The awards were announced after an intense two-day student competition, called “Idea State U,” held over the weekend at the Lexington Convention Center. The event is designed to help identify and support the next generation of Kentucky innovators and entrepreneurs.

. . . .

The top cash award – $43,302.63 – was presented to CALMsenior, a team consisting of University of Louisville graduate MBA students headed by Dr. Joseph Rotella M.D., for a business plan to create a private and secure website specially designed to help the elderly maintain their independence and interact with family members. Other top teams in each category included the following proposed ventures:

  • $8,526.32 to New Grounds Energy (University of Louisville) for a proposed venture to provide installation, maintenance and support for advanced kinetic energy products that generate electricity
  • $5,830.26 to Cuddle Clones (University of Louisville) for a proposed venture to develop the necessary software and production system to create customized stuffed replicas of people’s pets
  • $2,498.68 to Biometric Ease (University of Louisville) for a proposed venture to create an advanced keyboard that continuously scans a user’s fingerprints and typing pattern to authenticate the user’s identity

In addition to the top four awards, $32,842.11 was distributed to the four second-place teams, which included teams from Western Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky and Morehead State University, along with $2,000 for three adviser prizes.

Porter Bancorp 2010 1Q

Banks are still not out of the woods yet, but it looks like they are willing to work out more issues.  From

–Non-performing loans decreased $24.4 million during the first quarter to $60.5 million at March 31, 2010 compared with $84.9 million at December 31, 2009. The decrease was primarily attributable to obtaining a deed in lieu of foreclosure on a residential construction and development loan that totaled approximately $24.1 million. This loan was on non-accrual at December 31, 2009.

— Non-performing assets increased $20.7 million during the first quarter to $120.2 million at March 31, 2010. The increase was primarily due to the addition of a residential construction and development credit relationship totaling approximately $17.6 million in the first quarter of 2010.

. . . .

Asset Quality

Nonperforming loans decreased to $60.5 million, or 4.4% of total loans, at March 31, 2010, compared with $84.9 million, or 6.0% of total loans at December 31, 2009, and $24.8 million, or 1.8% of total loans at March 31, 2009, primarily due to troubled loans working their way through the collection, foreclosure, and disposition process. As a result, foreclosed properties at March 31, 2010 rose to $59.7 million compared with $14.5 million at December 31, 2009, and $10.5 million at March 31, 2009. Additionally, our ratio of non-performing assets to total assets increased during the quarter to 6.84% at March 31, 2010, compared with 5.42% at December 31, 2009.

Our loan loss reserve as a percentage of total loans increased to 1.95% at March 31, 2010, from 1.87% at December 31, 2009, and 1.49% at March 31, 2009. Net loan charge-offs for the first quarter of 2010 were $2.8 million, or 0.2% of average loans for the quarter.

“The prolonged weakness in the economy continues to pressure the real estate markets in our area, resulting in reduced demand and lower real estate values,” stated Ms. Bouvette. “We have increased our reserve for loan losses over the past year to account for these factors and believe our reserves reflect these economic factors and their potential impact on our loan portfolio,” concluded Ms. Bouvette.

“We continue to take a proactive approach in working through problem loans to minimize potential losses. In the first quarter, we obtained deeds in lieu of foreclosure on two multi-unit residential condominium and patio home developments located in our primary market area. The loans had a carrying amount of approximately $41.7 million. We are committed to an orderly disposition of our borrowers’ properties. We have set up a real estate department with a dedicated real estate sales expert that has been successful in selling OREO properties and assisting in the sale of properties securing non-performing loans. In the first quarter of 2010, these transactions totaled approximately $17.6 million,” concluded Ms. Bouvette.

2009 Unemployment Rate Comparison

Annual unemployment rates were higher in 120 Kentucky counties in 2009 than in 2008, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training in the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

In 2009, 95 Kentucky counties had an annual jobless rate at or above 10 percent compared to seven counties that recorded double-digit rates in 2008.

Fayette County’s 7.8 percent annual jobless rate was the lowest in the Commonwealth in 2009. It was followed by Woodford County, 8.2 percent; Calloway County, 8.4 percent; Boyd County, 8.5 percent; Oldham County, 8.6 percent; McCracken County, 8.9 percent; Franklin and Jessamine counties, 9 percent each; and Carlisle and Hickman counties, 9.1 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest annual unemployment rate in 2009 — 18.5 percent. It was followed by Jackson County, 16.9 percent; Menifee County, 16.4 percent; Powell County, 15.8 percent; Bath and Metcalfe counties, 15.6 percent each; Lewis and Trigg counties, 15.3 percent each; and Butler and Grayson counties, 14.7 percent each.

Read More.

2009 county unemployment rate charts are posted at

Kentucky Unemployment Rate By County

From Kentucky.Gov: Unemployment rates rose in 61 Kentucky counties between March 2009 and March 2010, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Fayette County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 8 percent. It was followed by Woodford County, 8.3 percent; Boyd County and Calloway counties, 8.7 percent each; Madison County, 8.8 percent; Oldham County, 9 percent; Franklin and Rowan counties, 9.1 percent each; and Jessamine, McCracken and Warren counties, 9.2 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate — 20.8 percent. It was followed by Jackson County, 19 percent; Menifee County, 18.7 percent; Bath County, 17.4 percent; Powell County, 16.9 percent; Grayson County, 15.9 percent; Edmonson and Wolfe counties, 15.8 percent each; Lewis County, 15.7 percent; and Morgan County, 15.6 percent.

March’s preliminary and February’s revised county unemployment rate charts are posted at

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-04-25

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In Comparison, States Around Kentucky and Their Unemployment Rate

Indiana’s unemployment rate remained nearly unchanged for the sixth straight month as it increased slightly to 9.9 percent for March.

Figures released Friday by the state Department of Workforce Development show the jobless rate rose by one-tenth of a percentage point from February’s 9.8 percent. The agency says the state’s total number of jobs grew by 16,600, but that the number of those seeking jobs grew faster as about 330,000 people were unemployed in March.

Indiana’s jobless rate has been just below 10 percent since October after peaking at 10.6 percent last June.

The March unemployment rates for neighboring states ranged from 10.7 percent in Kentucky to 14.1 percent in Michigan.

The jobless rate in Illinois rose slightly to 11.5 percent in March, and the state ranked ninth nationally for its foreclosure rate in the first three months of the year, according to data released Thursday that economists say indicate the state’s recovery is sluggish at best.

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KY Jobless Rate Down Slightly

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate fell to 10.7 percent in March 2010 from a revised 10.9 percent in February 2010, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

March 2010’s jobless rate is .6 percentage points higher than the 10.1 percent rate recorded in March 2009 for Kentucky. The 10.7 percent rate recorded in March 2010 matches the 10.7 percent rate in Kentucky in January 2010. . . .

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained at 9.7 percent from February 2010 to March 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. . . .

According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector jumped by 4,500 jobs in March 2010. This area includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing businesses and utilities. It is the largest sector in Kentucky with 365,100 employees. Since March 2009, the number of jobs in this sector has increased by 800.

Read more.

Federal Unemployment Benefits Extended

The federal government approved legislation to continue the five federally funded unemployment benefit extensions through June 2, according to a statement from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

The legislation also continues the $25 per week additional payment.

Additional weeks of benefits aren’t provided in the law.  Read more from

College Towns Weather Foreclosure Crisis Better

All bottom seven communities on the 2009 RealtyTrac foreclosure list are college towns, where local economies have been boosted by the rush to higher education. Burlington only saw 45 residential properties tagged with foreclosure notices in 2009, and not even all of them went to foreclosure. Only eight experienced the worst case scenario.

College communities typically do better in tough economic times as their local economies profit by growing enrollment due to high unemployment, getting more students to go after college degrees.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-04-18

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