Louisville, black owned business

Louisville Task Force Formed To Provide Black-Owned Businesses With Partnership Opportunities

Louisville, Kentucky,  Mayor Craig Greenberg has announced plans to form a task force to strengthen opportunities between Black-owned businesses and public and private investors.

In a city where nearly a quarter of the population identifies as Black, only three percent of the area’s businesses are Black-owned. It is this issue that Greenberg hopes the appointment of Keisha Dorsey as executive director of the Equity in Contracting and Procurement Task Force will help to fix. “Equity will be a guiding principle in Louisville’s economic strategy for the future. That means we must do more to make sure the economy of the future reaches every Louisville neighborhood in ways we haven’t seen in the past,” Greenberg said.

“We know there is more to do to create the economy of the future to ensure that it helps all people in Louisville for the economy everyone deserves.”

Local business owner Ben Jones has been one of the city’s few Black entrepreneurs for 40 years, with two locations for his Better Days Records stores. Though he has sustained a profitable business, his desire to expand further with the help of government support was met with the same hurdles many Black businesses struggle to overcome: lack of access to funding.

“It didn’t matter what new structure or what way something was done; it is still based on collateral versus credit score versus who’s going to lend you the money,” Jones said.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about anything except for I always hear about ways that our community, our city, our government has things for Black businesses. And then my question is always, what and where are the Black businesses that you say you want to support?”

The task force will also ensure that Black and minority-owned businesses in Louisville receive equal access to proposed investments.