Mt. Sterling, KY Attracts New Businesses
From entrepreneurial start-ups to national retailers, business is booming in Mt. Sterling. The city has a population of 7,000, but serves 30,000 to 40,000 people in surrounding counties throughout eastern Kentucky.
“This city has a long history of being a crossroads and a trade center, so our population is deceptive because there are many unincorporated areas around us whose residents drive here specifically to shop and eat at restaurants,” Mt. Sterling mayor Gary Williamson says. “Those folks drive here for groceries, furniture, automotive needs, to shop at our Walmart – it has been that way since I can remember, and I've been around here for a long time.”
Workforce statistics show that people travel to Mt. Sterling to work from 19 different counties. In fact, more than 50 percent of the entire Mt. Sterling workforce lives outside Montgomery County.
“All of those people add to our tax base, with many of them frequenting our restaurants and stores before heading back to their homes outside of Mt. Sterling and Montgomery County,” Williamson says. “People visiting and working in Mt. Sterling are key reasons why we've had a dramatic increase in companies choosing to locate here in the past few years.”
Within the county itself, the availability of jobs has been one of the biggest drivers of growth. The county's population has increased by 17.5 percent over the last decade, making it one of the top 10 fastest growing counties in Kentucky.
Perfect Spot on the Map
Tractor Supply Company and Bevins Motor Company have both set up shop recently in the city. Bevins sells several kinds of farm and heavy duty equipment, and is now the John Deere distributor in Mt. Sterling.
“Our company was looking for an additional dealership for John Deere products, so we began a search in early 2010 for a perfect spot on the map,” says Jim Bevins, owner of Bevins Motor Company. “Honestly, I must give a lot of credit to Sandy Romenesko with the Mt. Sterling-Montgomery County Chamber, who researched the availability of lots and prices, and drove with me to several potential sites. Mt. Sterling and Montgomery County officials are very business-friendly, and once the stars ultimately aligned, I wound up with an ideal John Deere dealership location off Interstate 64 at exit 113.”
Other recent ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Mt. Sterling include Sterling Academy of Dance, Northview Pharmacy, Alliance Physical Therapy and Key Assets foster parent training center.
“Every new business obviously brings more jobs into our community, which still has small-town ideals,” Williamson says. “If I was a business owner looking for a place to locate, I would seriously consider Mt. Sterling.”
Sign of the Times
In addition to investing in businesses, Williamson says, the city is taking a deeper sense of pride in its aesthetic surroundings. One example is new welcome signs recently erected at I-64 exits in Mt. Sterling and Jeffersonville.
“We have a history here of working together, plus there is a good school system and plenty of recreation spots such as Easy Walker Park and Walker Park 2,” he says. “Also, there are several programs for young people. I can say a lot of good things about Mt. Sterling. That's the easiest part of my job.”
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