‘We’re still here’
Governor optimistic on economy in Pineville appearance
Governor Andy Beshear made an appearance in Pineville last weekend speaking to a lunchtime crowd at the Pine Mountain State Park Lodge, touching on the state’s economic position as the COVID-19 pandemic eases.
“After a tough 15 months, we’re still here,” Beshear began. “We’re not only still here, we are getting back to normal.”
Beshear noted one of the signs of a return to normalcy was the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival taking place.
“This last year, we’ve asked a lot from you,” Beshear said. “We’ve asked you to change your lives. We’ve asked you to restructure your businesses. Sometimes, we’ve asked you to sacrifice even more.”
Beshear pointed out that in times of crisis, people pull together.
“Look at what happens when we get ice storms, we help each other out,” Beshear said. “Look at what happens when we get snowstorms, we help each other out…and that’s exactly what we’ve done in the midst of this pandemic.”
The governor then addressed how the pandemic has impacted the people of Kentucky.
“I still feel the emotions from the last 15 months,” Beshear said. “I still feel grief for the…Kentuckians we’ve lost. I still feel stress, how this has changed our lives and affected my kids and everybody else’s kids and grandkids.”
The development of vaccines and other factors have given Beshear a positive outlook for the future.
“I believe the fact that 15 months after our first case of COVID we have had 2.1 million Kentuckians vaccinated, that’s a miracle from God,” said Beshear. “Our economy is roaring back. We have gotten more good news in the last month than I could have ever imagined.”
Kentucky has received positive economic reviews from multiple sources, Beshear pointed out.
“Even in the midst of the pandemic, Site Selection magazine ranked Kentucky number one in our region,” Beshear said. “They ranked us number one for any state with under 5 million people. They ranked us number three per capita. I’ll tell you what, take out the per capita. Put us in direct competition with New York, California, Florida, or Texas, you pick. We were number seven in the country.”
Site Selection Magazine is a publication that covers corporate real estate, facility planning, and location analysis, according to https://siteselection.com.
Beshear added that Moody’s, a credit rating agency, recently gave Kentucky a positive rating.
“Moody’s came out – and I didn’t know ratings agencies used these types of terms – they say our economy is rebounding with gusto,” Beshear said.
Beshear added Kentucky has seen prosperous times previously, but not everybody benefited.
“There have been times when this state has seen…prosperity,” Beshear said. “But it didn’t come to everybody. It didn’t come to every part of the commonwealth, and it didn’t come to every part of the cities in our Commonwealth. So let me be really clear: I’m going to make sure as governor that this prosperity reaches eastern Kentucky and reaches Bell County.”