City bridging relationship between small business owners, large corporations


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Randall Barnes

PADUCAH - Terry McKee is president of Keeforce, an out-sourced computer IT company.  He's a small business owner, which is why he visited Thursday's procurement fair - to learn how to grow his business and bottom line.

"Some of these organizations have never heard of us or any of these other companies that are walking through," McKee said.

Thursday's fair is what organizers call a "reverse trade show" - where large businesses or corporations set up tables and meet individually with small business owners, like McKee.  He said it's usually the other way around, but this gives him the upper hand.

"This is one where I am able to walk in front of them instead of expecting them to walk in front of my booth," he said.

Chuck Sexton is the Director of Paducah Economic Development.  He said government agencies and large industries typically have goals they set for spending with small and minority-owned businesses.

"They are all here to allow these small business owners and representatives to come through and showcase their product or service to each and every one of them in one small setting," Sexton said.

For McKee, it's an opportunity for him to professionally sell his business.
"Most of these companies are not going to let you even get in their door and stand in front of them, but here, I get that opportunity," he said.