What does Louisville have in common with Chicago? Both cities have unique, late 1800-era water towers that don’t store water. Both cities also have a rich history with water, and recently, Kentucky leaders used its advantages with water, power, land and workforce to nudge Chicago firms to head south.
Louisville Water is part of a group called Kentucky United, a consortium that highlights the state’s advantages for business and markets the assets in strategic locations across the United States. In September, Kentucky United spent a few days in Chicago meeting with companies that already have a presence in Kentucky and firms that serve as brokers for businesses looking to expand. Louisville Water is part of a presentation to these stakeholders and often will take our liquid asset, water, along for a taste-testing with Kentucky’s other liquid asset, bourbon.
For the past few years, a team of Louisville Water employees has worked to develop an economic development platform that includes building the company’s brand, highlighting our advantages with quality and rates, and developing strategic partnerships where others share our story. We’ve seen results. Now, a business prospect will receive a branded water container at a local visit. They’ll drink Louisville Water in a conference room meeting and then hear about our outstanding quality from a state official. Requests on water information for potential businesses are up more than 20 percent this year compared to 2017.
That’s a concrete data point — but here’s another: During the Chicago trip, one businessman commented, “I have friends in Louisville who will only offer me tap water when I visit.” That’s proof of Louisville’s liquid assets.