Rainey Named Director of Small Business Development Center

Rainey photo

Jason Rainey has been named director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Eastern Kentucky University.

Rainey, a native of Winchester, is no stranger to helping small businesses of the region succeed. Nor, as a business owner himself, is he unfamiliar with the travails that go with the job.

After multiple years as a mortgage banker, Rainey joined the USDA Rural Development Agency in March 2010, first with a six-month appointment as a business-cooperative loan specialist in Lexington and then with a one-year appointment as the area specialist based in Morehead, where he was the point of contact for rural business lending and grant programs for a 23-county service region. In the latter role, he increased applications in every program area by 100 percent or greater and established strategic partnerships with leaders at all levels, bankers, agriculture extension agents, and area development districts.

Since 2011, he has been a self-employed real estate appraiser.

Rainey succeeds Michael Rodriguez, who passed away unexpectedly last year after helping the SBDC at EKU win the statewide traveling trophy for two consecutive years.

“I'm extremely excited to have been selected for this position, and I'm eager to begin meeting many of our community members and leaders throughout the Service Region,” Rainey said. “With more than 339,000 small businesses located in Kentucky, and with small businesses making up 96.7 percent of the Commonwealth's employers, it's evident that our small businesses have a significant impact on our state's economy.

“Michael Rodriguez did a phenomenal job of building this office into one of the best Small Business Development Centers in the state,” Rainey added. “My goal is to honor his legacy by continuing to build on his success through my passion for entrepreneurship and for assisting individuals who are starting new businesses or expanding existing businesses. The greatest reward will be their success. “

Rainey earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Morehead State University, where also served as Student Government President and Student Regent. He currently serves as president-elect of Morehead’s Alumni Association.

Dr. Bob Rogow, dean of EKU’s College of Business and Technology, said: “EKU’s Small Business Development Center is an important part of the College of Business and Technology’s regional stewardship services. Through the EKU SBDC we have helped many entrepreneurs successfully begin or further develop their businesses. We are very pleased that Jason Rainey, who has extensive business and economic development experience, is joining us to continue the important work of the EKU Small Business Development Center.”

The EKU SBDC, an outreach service of EKU’s College of Business and Technology, is housed within the University’s Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET) with offices on the Richmond campus and in Somerset, where John Preston continues to serve as a business coordinator. It provides free counseling, training and information programs and services to existing and potential small business owners in the following counties: Adair, Casey, Clinton, Estill, Garrard, Jackson, Laurel, Lincoln, Madison, McCreary, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, Wayne and Whitley.

The EKU SBDC is housed in EKU’s Business and Technology Center as part of the University’s Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET). The EKU SBDC also benefits from a close relationship with EKUBusiness academic programs, all housed in the building.

“We look forward to the leadership and experience that Jason will bring to the EKU SBDC,” said CEDET Executive Director Ian Mooers. “Jason is very passionate about helping our local businesses succeed, and that passion came through during the interview process.”         

To learn more about services offered by the EKU SBDC, visit sbdc.eku.edu or www.facebook.com/ekusbdc, or call 859-622-1384 (Richmond) or 606-678-3042 (Somerset).

Published on June 06, 2014