When Kentucky businesses thrive, so that we love to eat, work, and shop there, we all win.

Ask anyone what makes District 41 unique, from Audubon to Clifton, to the Highlands and Hikes Point, and they’ll have to mention our small businesses. Small businesses are the heart of District 41. National efforts by the Small Business Association must be continued and boosted at the state level by effective organizations and policies. We’ve watched the current administration focus almost entirely on huge contracts in other parts of the state while our city’s small businesses have suffered under often-fatal lockdowns and regulations that cost society so much while doing almost nothing for public health (a key finding to remember when we analyze the Governor’s authoritarian crusades).

Ask any business owner what their most pressing need is right now, and they’ll tell you: they need a trained and dedicated workforce. The first step in preparing Kentucky to have a workforce that attracts and keeps businesses is in the area I’m most passionate about: education. According to WalletHub, in 2021 Kentucky ranked 49th in the nation (again) in Financial Knowledge and Education. It’s time to address the lack of financial literacy in our schools.

Another key factor in educating a robust workforce is world language programs that work. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages released an impactful study showing how much employers need bilingual workers. I’ve spent years developing and refining curriculum that helps children become bilingual in Spanish, and I know that the earlier children start learning a new language, the more proficient they can become. However, Kentucky’s elementary world language options are few and far between, with large swaths of the state having no early world language programs at all. If we want to join states like Utah and Georgia in preparing a thriving workforce, we need to boost our Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese programs in particular in the early years of learning.

While the minority party crusades for a minimum wage, the free market has already boosted a competitive wage to the point where tax-strapped, lockdown-wounded businesses can’t find employees to hire. The minimum wage has become a non-issue.

I support policies that help our businesses thrive, because they employ our workers in good jobs and are part of what we love about our neighborhood. We must support them and tax less, fine less, take less, so they can give more.

Send a voice Frankfort will listen to, and let’s provide the workforce and tax policies our businesses need to thrive.