The Obama administration is giving businesses a break under the Affordable Care Act. The federal health care law requires companies with 50 or more workers to provide full-time employees insurance coverage or pay fines.
The employer mandate was supposed to take effect January first, but in a decision announced Tuesday, implementation is being delayed one year to 2015.
"We feel like this is the number one issue for businesses right now. There's a lot of uncertainty that comes with the law," says Ashli Watts with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. "There's tens of thousands of pages of regulations to sift through."
Watts adds that making sense of the law is especially difficult for smaller companies.
"For larger businesses, they have HR people, attorneys, CPAs that can help them navigate through this. Mom and pop businesses may not have those resources," explains Watts.
Businesses have complained the employer mandate is too complicated. For example, the law created a new definition of full-time workers, those putting in 30 hours or more.
The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce says businesses they've heard from are most concerned with what the federal health care law means to their bottom line.
Friday marks the end of an era in Bowling Green as the woman behind Teresa's Restaurant calls it a career.
Teresa Blair-Reno has been in the restaurant business for three-quarters of her life, and has spent the last 16 years as the self-proclaimed "queen bee" at Teresa's.
After decades of hundred-hour work weeks and personal sacrifice she realized she didn't have the same passion for the business.
"I lost a son a few years ago, and just had an awakening that it was time for me to enjoy my family. I just think it's time--time for me to take time for Teresa, and do what I need to do."
Still, Blair-Reno admits she's going to miss the staff and customers who have been like parents and siblings to her.
"I love the people who walk in the door. They've watched me grow up and have helped me grow up. I've been waiting tables since I was 13. And I get pretty emotional because they've helped me raise my family."
"I get pretty emotional because this community has been like a family to me."
A Kentucky coal company must withdraw a lawsuit it filed against a former worker who complained he was discriminated against, an administrative court in Washington has ruled.
Armstrong Coal filed a lawsuit in Muhlenberg County in August against Reuben Shemwell, who was fired from the company's Parkway Mine in 2011.
Shemwell had already taken his own legal action against the company by filing a federal discrimination complaint, arguing that he was let go for complaining about safety hazards. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration has said Armstrong Coal's suit violated the section of a federal law designed to protect miners who file discrimination complaints.
The company accused Shemwell of wrongfully using civil proceedings, and said Shemwell was terminated for using his phone too much on the job.
An economic development organization based in Pulaski County is receiving federal grant money to help aspiring small business owners get a leg up.
The nearly $71,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will go to The Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation in Somerset. The U.S.D.A's Doug O'Brien told WKU Public Radio the grant will provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs in southern and southeastern Kentucky.
"Many times a small business can be just one person, or a couple of people who really see an opportunity in that part of the country. But maybe they haven't been through the rigors of the small business cycle of budgeting, or how to deal with their workforce needs," said O'Brien.
The Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation serves the counties of Adair, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Garrard, Green, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Lincoln, McCreary, Metcalfe, Monroe, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, Wayne, and Whitley.
Members of the public who would be impacted by a potential rate increase by Big Rivers Electric Corporation have opportunities to speak out this week. The Kentucky Public Service Commission is holding meetings in Owensboro and Henderson, and a chance for Brandenburg residents to link via video conferencing.
The Henderson-based Big Rivers wants approval for a rate adjustment that will raise $74.5 million dollars in increased revenue. The possible 20 percent increase would account for an extra $24 per month for the average customer. Industrial customers would see nearly 17 percent rate increases.
The utility says most of that new revenue is needed to offset the loss of the Century Aluminum smelter in Hawesville, which will cease to be a Big Rivers client in mid-August. Big Rivers provides power to a region extending from Meade County through Owensboro and Henderson and into Paducah in far western Kentucky.
The Public Service Commission will hold two meetings this Thursday for public comments on the proposed rate hike. The first is at South Middle School in Henderson at 1 p.m., and the second will be at the Owensboro Community and Technical College that evening at 5:30.
Big Rivers customers in the Brandenburg area can watch the Owensboro meeting via a video-conference at Meade County High School starting at 6:30 p.m. eastern.