City gives ear to 3L Highway-area businesses

3L Highway/Madison Pike-area businesses gathered for the first Covington Business Roundtable of the year. 

1st 'Roundtable' creates productive, positive discussion

COVINGTON, Ky. - When Covington businesses located in the 3L Highway/Madison Pike area were invited to a joint meeting this afternoon, the topics ran the gamut of business issues: Worker transportation, child care, health care, water supply, sanitary sewer service, and access to a qualified workforce.
And the concerns and questions were poignant and many.
But by the end of the discussion, there was consensus of sorts: The businesses wanted to meet again. And they expressed their intention to start working together to address problems they now realized they had in common.
"That's exactly what we had hoped would happen - that they would find commonalities and perhaps form joint solutions," said Suzann Gettys, Business Retention & Expansion Specialist in the City of Covington's Economic Development Department.
The occasion was the first Business Roundtable convened by the City along with Northern Kentucky Tri-ED.
In attendance were almost a dozen owners and high-level executives representing businesses between Interstate 275 and Mary Laidley Drive with a collective workforce of about 1,400 employees.
Also at the meeting, hosted by Atkins & Pearce, were over 20 officials from the City, Kenton County, utilities, workforce experts, TANK, and other service partners.
"Our goal was to listen and learn what their concerns were," Gettys said.
Gettys said the City and Tri-ED organized the Roundtable as the first of what they hope will become a series of such meetings with business groups related by either geography, size, service sector, or some other connection.
But first the City wants to follow up on this initial event by answering questions raised during the discussion, reaching out to 3L-area businesses who couldn't make it, and distributing additional information.
The event began with short presentations on ongoing initiatives in Covington and Kenton County and then expanded to open discussion.
Gettys said the Roundtable initiative was a result of the Economic Development Department's goal of being more strategic and responsive in interacting with Covington's businesses. She said the Department was gauging the success of the day by the businesses' reaction:
"The group thought it was so positive and productive that it would like to meet regularly."