Uncle Lee's has been a general merchandise retail store in Greenville, Ky. for the past 32 years. The company decided to launch an Internet site in 2001 featuring their premier sporting goods.
Broadband usage in Kentucky is growing at an incredible rate. Connect Kentucky said 429,000 households can access broadband that couldn't in 2004.
This statistic not only has many implications for Kentucky residents, but it also opens a new world for area business owners.
Greenville, like many area towns, has only limited broadband access. The entire state must have access by November 2007 but one Greenville business is already embracing the change.
Uncle Lee's general store in Greenville has bounced through the economy's ups and downs like many local retail stores.
Owner Lee Fauntleroy said the store went into the catalog business after suffering major setbacks from the decline of the coal industry back in the 80s.
With a rise in printing costs, Uncle Lee's looked toward the Internet. The decision to go online proved to be a profitable one for Uncle Lee's.
Going global has allowed Uncle Lee's to grow to 130,000 square feet. It now employs over 100 people. Yet, it still hasn't lost that small town charm.
The Internet even helps the company cater to its home based customers, including Kentucky soldiers serving overseas.
The worldwide orders are assembled in the store and shipped out.
Lee said selling on the Internet enabled the retail store to expand its merchandise to include items it wouldn't normally be able to stock.
Lee said even though the store has benefited from going online, he is excited for the future of broadband in Greenville.
And to learn more about Broadband usage here in Kentucky, take a look at part one of our special series Kentucky Connected.