Business leaders gather for post-SOAR meeting

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Hazard, Ky. (WYMT)-- Business leaders encouraged people to create jobs by creating businesses Tuesday.

The meeting at Hazard Community and Technical College followed Monday's Shaping Our Appalachian Region, or SOAR Summit, with ideas on how to improve the Eastern Kentucky Economy.

"It seems like in Appalachia, everybody, almost everybody runs some type of business out of the back of their truck, or out of their garage, or out of the basement," said Earl Gohl, federal co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Leaders felt this was one way to allow the economy to improve.

Gerry Roll, executive director of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, also felt cooperation among counties and a regional approach could help shape the future in a positive way.

"Sometimes we forget that our neighbors have exciting things happening too, and if we could let people know out there in the bigger community, what's happening at home in our own communities, perhaps by sharing, we can have more good things happen," she said.

Training for small businesses could also aid improvement, said Pat Bradley, small business training specialist for Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation, noting that people seem to have more of a personal investment with small businesses, especially as owners take on more employees.

"They take that responsibility very seriously, and they work very hard to make sure they can maintain those jobs that they're creating," she said.

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