June 22, 2021 | By: Aimee Nielson

Local economic development leaders now have a secure and direct communication with local businesses as part of the Kentucky Economic Recover and Resilience Project.

This is part of a two-phased project between the Kentucky Association for Economic Development and the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky at the University of Kentucky.

Phase 2 provides Bludot, a web-based business retention and expansion platform free to Kentucky communities. It is pre-populated with personalized business data so that communities can hit the ground running from first log in. Users will be able to sort business data by industry type, geographic area, size or age of business and by custom tags they create.

“For the first time in the commonwealth’s history, Kentucky’s economic developers and business leaders will be universally connected,” said Matt Tackett, president and CEO of Kentucky Association for Economic Development. “This step demonstrates our commitment to providing enterprises with a world-class business experience and will encourage a new level of interactivity to address issues and seize upon growth opportunities. Industry expansion is a leading driver of Kentucky’s investment generation and job creation, and today’s announcement will, at no cost to users, accelerate economic momentum in the commonwealth.”

Bludot allows for multiple users but requires one lead contact from each community. This lead must currently be the judge executive, mayor or the lead economic development staff person in a community. The lead contact may add other users such as chamber of commerce directors, tourism directors, etc.

“2020 taught us that we need to be prepared to connect with businesses within our communities at a moment’s notice,” said Beka Burton, CEDIK economic development extension specialist and Bludot coordinator. “We are excited to offer Bludot as a customer relationship management system to our Kentucky communities as a tool they can utilize to maximize efficient communication with the businesses within their counties. Collaboration is a key pillar of growth, and with the powerful partnership with KAED, Bludot can be the catalyst to enhancing and growing business within Kentucky.”

CEDIK will host three on-boarding webinars so communities and local economic development teams may see a live demonstration of the platform and ask questions. The webinar dates are July 20, Aug. 24 and Sept. 21, all beginning at 11 a.m. EDT. Registration for each date is available at https://bit.ly/3iP8Z7a The informational website for Bludot is accessible online at http://cedik.ca.uky.edu/bludot. The Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky, in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, has been instrumental in the development and implementation of initiatives specific to professional education, COVID-19 recovery and business retention and expansion.