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Retailers Connect in Murray for National Small Business Week

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

District Director of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business at Murray State, Chris Wooldridge and President/CEO of the Murray-Calloway Chamber of Commerce Aaron Dail visit Sounds Good to speak with Chad Lampe about a Retailers Roundtable in Murray Wednesday morning as part of the observance of National Small Business Week, which includes information about a new tool being developed for small business to make actionable change and decisions based on local market data. 

A proclamation signing today kicks off National Small Business Week in Murray and Calloway County, an opportunity to talk about and support small businesses. A large amount of the business economy in Kentucky is fueled by small businesses, companies that have fewer than 500 employees and less than $10 million dollars in sales. According to the SBA, there are 341,000 small businesses in the Commonwealth, roughly 66,000 of them have employees (a majority are one-person organizations). Overall, small businesses employ nearly 687,000 workers in the state. In the western part of Kentucky (from Owensboro to Todd County to Fulton), small business numbers amount to 11% of the overall number. Most of the small businesses in our area have 10 or fewer employees.

Aaron Dail says in 2014, the City of Murray saw a new business open every three days, a tremendous amount of growth. The Chamber of Commerce, along with the Kentucky Small Business Development Center, are hosting a Retailers Roundtable this week on feedback from a local general manager who said they'd love to get together with other retailers to talk topics from inventory to point of sale to how to work with customers on certain service offerings, to learn about what opportunities they have or what services could be provided by the SBDC in the future, to help create a better business climate.

Dail says Size Up is a new GIS planning and local business tool in development, which would provide a way for a business to dissect the local market, to figure out data to make actionable change and decisions like: where to advertise, when to benchmark employees at certain levels, what to pay employees, how many employees are needed, who the competitors are, the suppliers, and locations for doing business in the community. Dail says this has great potential for moving the economic needle both locally and statewide. Big companies like Walmart can access this data at the drop of a hat, and pay a premium for it, he says. But wants to minimize the cost to almost nothing for business owners to be able to use it in a user-friendly format. Making data-driven decisions can be tough for small businesses because they typically don't have this access.


Register for the Retailers Roundtable by calling the Chamber at 270-753-5171 or see the events calendar The meeting is from 8:30 to 10 at the Robert O. Miller Center in Murray on Wednesday.

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
Chad Lampe, a Poplar Bluff, Missouri native, was raised on radio. He credits his father, a broadcast engineer, for his technical knowledge, and his mother for the gift of gab. At ten years old he broke all bonds of the FCC and built his own one watt pirate radio station. His childhood afternoons were spent playing music and interviewing classmates for all his friends to hear. At fourteen he began working for the local radio stations, until he graduated high school. He earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology at Murray State, and a Masters Degree in Mass Communication. In November, 2011, Chad was named Station Manager in 2016.
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