April 1, 2022
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, recognized Kelsey’s On Main of Jackson, Kentucky, as the Senate Small Business of the Week.

Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, each week I recognize an outstanding Kentucky small business that exemplifies the American entrepreneurial spirit. This week, it is my privilege to recognize the small business, Kelsey’s On Main of Jackson, Kentucky, as the Senate Small Business of the Week.

Like a good Southerner, Kelsey Sebastian is passionate about hospitality. After leaving her native Jackson, she pursued a degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism from University of Kentucky. However, instead of taking her university expertise to the opportunities of the big city, Kelsey returned home to put her knowledge and skills to work. Thus in 2014, with the help of her family, Kelsey Sebastian opened Kelsey’s On Main. 

The idea for Kelsey’s On Main was born out of several needs for the little town of Jackson. With only a small number of sit-in dining establishments in Jackson, local residents needed more restaurant options. Moreover, there was a need for revitalization in the heart of downtown Jackson, a heady mission that Kelsey and her family bravely took on. The Hogg building, now home to Kelsey’s On Main, was 98 years old when she and her family began the renovation process in 2012. A former pharmacy and pool hall, this historic building located in the center of downtown needed a healthy dose of tender love and care. Renovating the establishment was by no means an easy task but the town of Jackson and its residents will tell you that it was worth it. In 2014, the centennial anniversary of the Hogg building, Kelsey’s On Main opened their doors. 

Kelsey’s desire to restore beauty to the dilapidated old Hogg building corresponded with her mission to provide great food and top quality service to her hometown. In keeping the original tin roof and leaving one of the old walls exposed in its brick, customers can see that this building is mature in age but well taken care of. To that end, Kelsey and her family keep old photos of downtown Jackson as well as photos of her friends and family throughout the historic building. Of course her family is not just present in the photographs that hang on the wall, her parents often come by to pick up a shift or two to support their daughter. And as a tenant in her aunt’s building, Kelsey’s On Main is a true family affair. 

Returning to Jackson to open her own business is not the only way Kelsey supports her community. She is an active member of the Jackson Women’s Group and as a Jackson City Council member, Kelsey always volunteers her restaurant to host the monthly Jackson Chamber of Commerce lunch. Kelsey is also involved in the Breathitt County Honey Festival, a tradition that has been around for over four decades, by supporting the festival’s Musical Committee. As someone so involved in the goings-on of her town, Kelsey does her best to bring life to the Jackson community, as illustrated by she and her family’s decision to revitalize a historic downtown building. Moreover, as a recent participant in Kentucky’s BRIGHT program, a professional and entrepreneurial development program, it is clear that Kelsey is headstrong in her desire to keep improving and impacting the community around her.

All across the country are little towns like Jackson whose downtowns have been left empty by a shift in industry, and it is businesses like Kelsey’s On Main that bring life back into those empty storefronts and keep historic communities thriving. Congratulations to Kelsey and her family and the entire team at Kelsey’s On Main. I wish them the best of luck and look forward to watching their continued growth and success in Kentucky. 

As Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Paul continues the tradition of honoring America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees proposed legislation on matters relating to the Small Business Administration and investigates all problems relating to America’s small businesses.


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