Mayor Greg Fischer today highlighted efforts by the Louisville Metropolitan Government to provide more support and resources to help Blacks and other minority residents start and grow businesses.
Although black residents make up 23.4% of Louisville’s population, only 2.4% of Louisville businesses are black-owned.
“We recognize that we are not going to reverse the effects of redlining, divestment and disenfranchisement overnight. It will take time and money, ”said the mayor. “Knowing that black and other minority-owned businesses do not have access to the same resources as many white business owners, we are further increasing our intention to provide additional support structures for these businesses in the budget. ‘fiscal year 2022. “
In the FY22 budget, Louisville Metro allocated more than $ 13 million to fund initiatives to support black and other minority-owned businesses, including:
- $ 25,000 to support capacity building for the Black Business Association;
- $ 65,000 to hire a new senior director of economic development for West Louisville;
- $ 100,000 in additional funds for a minority business incubator;
- $ 250,000 for equity in procurement;
- $ 1.5 million to expand METCO’s small business loan program;
- $ 2.7 million to create a new small business assistance fund; and
- $ 10 million for the West End Opportunity Partnership.
Some of these efforts, such as the METCO Loan Program and the Small Business Assistance Fund, will provide dollars directly to businesses. The long-standing METCO program aims to help people who face barriers to obtaining traditional capital. Details on how the Small Business Assistance Fund works and eligibility remains to be determined.
Learn more about the METCO loan program at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/louisville-forward/local-loan-progr….
Other initiatives, including support for the Black Business Association, a new minority business incubator, and the hiring of a West Louisville Senior Director of Economic Development, will strengthen networking opportunities and technical support for business owners. ‘business.
By hiring a third Director of Economic Development, Louisville Metro’s small business team will be able to help more businesses start up and grow. In 2019 and 2020, the Small Business Team assisted over 1,000 black and minority owned businesses.
In addition to efforts to help small businesses, the FY2022 budget includes funding for work through the Fairness in Contracting and Procurement Working Group. In September, Mayor Fischer established the Task Force to Close the Community Wealth Gap by Supporting Black and Minority-Owned Business Enterprises, Women and People with Disabilities (MFDBE) through supplier diversity initiatives, in particular related to investment projects.
Funding allocated in this year’s budget will help with data collection, events, the creation of a new website and more.
“The task force has worked hard to collect data to establish goals and timetables to increase the use of MFDBEs and black-owned businesses,” said Verna Goatley, director of the Human Relations Commission. and member of the working group. “In addition to collecting data and reporting, the task force has worked to ensure that non-discrimination, fairness and equal opportunity are protected, promoted and reflected in Louisville workplaces. Metro, as well as its decisions regarding hiring, programs, activities, services, developments and capital projects.