Middlesboro, KY – Officials at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College announce that local attorney Joshua Howard has won the “Rural Owned Small Business of the Year.” Each year, the Small Business Association of Kentucky recognizes an outstanding business located in an area with a population less than 50,000. To be considered, a business must show innovation, creativity, significant growth, and/or an example of overcoming adversity, and it must have benefited from the services of the Small Business Development Center. This year Howard Law Firm tied with Whitaker’s Pharmacy in Mt. Sterling.
Born and raised in Pineville, Mr. Howard attended both the University of Kentucky and Union College. Upon law school graduation he weighed the pros and cons of living and working in different cities, but ultimately decided that Pineville, Kentucky was the perfect location; not just because of the convenient access to the bigger cities like Lexington and Knoxville, but because he understood the impact he could have in his home community.
Shortly after returning home and opening his own law office with five employees in August of 2011, he decided to endeavor in other small business projects, so he employed the services of the Small Business Development Center at Southeast to help gather the vital information necessary to conduct business in this area of Appalachia. In February 2014, he began renovating the historic Old City Hall building in downtown Pineville that formerly housed the police and fire departments, the mayor’s office, and the city council chambers. Today the building hosts Old City Loft, a women’s fine clothing boutique, City Salon, a hair and nail salon, Council Chamber Cigars, a downtown smoke shop located in the former council chambers, and Howard’s law office.
Again, in August 2016, Mr. Howard saw the opportunity to expand his law practice to the Harlan County market and did so by opening a branch there, hiring an additional attorney and secretary to operate that office. As such, the Harlan office has mirrored the success of Pineville office and continues to grow.
Josh formed another company and acquired more real estate in downtown Pineville, renovating the properties for apartment rental and commercial space–a tremendous shot in the arm that is helping to revitalize the downtown area. Businesses that have located in this property include Cumberland River Tavern; Ol’ Bootleggers Spirit Shoppe; The Butchers Pub; Champion Physical Therapy (Cobra Health); Sauced: Craft Pizza, Pasta, Salad; Intrust Counseling; Sky Chiropractic; Dr. Parsons, DMD; and Southern Roots Cuisine. Mr. Howard plans to open a laundromat and Bed and Breakfast within this calendar year in addition to another legal practice in Williamsburg, KY.