Last week, representatives from the Kentucky Chamber’s Small Business Committee participated in a focus group hosted at the Chamber to ensure the needs of the business community are met with the development of the state’s new One-Stop Business Portal website. The site, which is under re-development by the governor and secretary of state’s offices, currently operates as little more than a business registration page. It was originally developed by Secretary of State John Y. Brown III, and improved by Secretary of State Trey Grayson.
The new vision for the site was established by Senate Bill 8, passed unanimously by the 2011 General Assembly, to create a more comprehensive program like those in Michigan and Virginia. The site is meant to provide greater connectivity across state agencies and allow businesses to interact with several state agencies from a single point of contact. The proposed system will streamline how businesses interact with the state by providing a secure, 24/7 central location for accessing necessary applications, information and important updates.
Chamber representatives – Ron Sanders of People Plus from Madisonville, Sandy Canon of Community Ventures from Lexington and Scott Green of Sonitrol from Lexington – were joined by representatives from the Kentucky Retail Federation, Kentucky Association of Manufacturing and the National Federation of Independent Business. The focus group reviewed a draft of the one-stop website, discussing visual appeal, usefulness and accessibility. The website content was the topic of much of the meeting. Small business representatives requested the website include options to file annual reports, pay taxes, and obtain permits and licenses – all organized by industry.
The focus group will reconvene prior to the launch of the portal to make final recommendations. The website is scheduled to go live this fall.