LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The Beshear Administration is touting strong growth across the Commonwealth’s small businesses.

On Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear credited the Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit program with the creation of more than 300 jobs and the reinvestment of about $3.6 million across 107 Kentucky small businesses.

“I’m glad business owners and entrepreneurs are using the KSBTC program to create more jobs for Kentuckians and grow their operations to new heights, as their impact on communities will last for many generations to come,” Gov. Beshear said in a press release.

To qualify for the KSBTC program, businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees must have created, filled and maintained a new position for at least a year and spent at least $5,000 on equipment for the business within the last two years. Businesses can receive anywhere from $3,500 to $25,000 a year in tax credits.

“This program creates jobs, it invests in our small businesses, that’s the things we need right now because we have a lot of momentum happening in Kentucky but if we don’t have the workforce to do it and if we don’t have our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy, then we’re not going to be able to make the progress that we’d like to see,” Kentucky Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Jacqueline Pitts told FOX 56.

Three-hundred-thirty-nine new jobs were incentivized through the KSBTC in 2021, which pay an average hourly wage of $25.89, according to a press release.

The total amount distributed comes out to $1,167,700 between 107 small businesses across 37 counties. Prior to 2015, only an annual average of 15 companies were receiving the tax credit, now that number is more than 130.

“Obviously this program has grown over the last couple of years, but there is no more critical time than right now to make these investments into our small businesses,” Pitts said. “These types of programs and more like them, things that have been done in the last session like COVID protections, it’s time to really pay attention to what’s happening to our small businesses, so we don’t lose them and we continue to grow here in Kentucky.”