Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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The Army Rangers choose Fort Knox as the location to prepare for the 3rd Battalion's 20th deployment to Afghanistan.More >>
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – An Italian-style ice cream maker is the first recipient of a loan program meant to lure businesses that buy from Kentucky farms into the city's Portland neighborhood.
The Metropolitan Business Development Corp. on Thursday approved a $32,500 loan for Gelato Gilberto, which plans to expand production and buy at least 51 percent of its materials – from milk to berries – from Kentucky farmers. The loan is contingent on the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board also approving a matching share.
"We're very, very excited," said Justin Gilbert, who founded Gelato Gilberto in 2006 and now operates a retail store in Norton Commons in eastern Jefferson County.
"We've been holding off on our sales effort because we didn't have the capacity," said Gilbert, who co-owns the business with his wife, Kristin.
The $500,000 Louisville Agribusiness Loan Program was created in 2012. It combines city money from Community Development Block Grants and state funds from a 1998 settlement with cigarette makers that has been used to help farmers diversify away from tobacco.
Gilbert said he plans to buy milk, berries and honey from Kentucky and local farmers. As part of the loan program, at least half of the produce must come from Kentucky farms.
Gelato Gilberto's Portland facility will be located at 2500 Montgomery Street in a building partly owned by Louisville businessman Gill Holland, an architect of redeveloping the NuLu neighborhood who is now leading a revitalization effort in Portland.
If the state board approves the rest of the loan, Gilbert said he hopes to have construction finished and begin production in Portland by this summer. The company plans to create one full-time and one part-time position, according to the loan summary.
Besides aiding Kentucky farmers, the loan program is attempting to help Louisville's local food efforts and boost business in an area whose approximate boundaries are the Ohio River, Tenth Street, Market Street and 38th Street.
Theresa Zawacki, metro government's executive administrator for brownfields and local food initiatives, said 24 to 30 businesses have expressed interest in the program.
"It's one of those things that is pretty specifically tailored to a subset of businesses, and so we're looking for a very limited number of things to fund," she said. "Between that and the geographic limitations of the loan -- it's a really targeted opportunity."
Zawacki said the program's goal is to award at least five loans of up to $100,000 each within the next five years.
One of the food-related businesses of that area – Grasshoppers Distribution on Portland Avenue – has since closed.
"Grasshoppers' decision to close doesn't affect our interest in the Portland neighborhood as a center for a cluster of food business that are using Kentucky products," Zawacki said.
Tuesday, April 15 2014 4:22 PM EDT2014-04-15 20:22:22 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said Tuesday he believes the Legislative Ethics Commission should re-open the inquiry into alleged ethics violations against former state Rep. JohnMore >>
Governor says ethics commission members should be present and reconsider action on Democratic state lawmaker accused of sexually harassing staffers.More >>
Friday, April 4 2014 6:19 PM EDT2014-04-04 22:19:31 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A group of eastern Jefferson County residents are suing Louisville Metro government and several developers, arguing that the city planning commission's approval of a FedEx distributionMore >>
Residents are asking for recent planning commission decisions, including a proposed FedEx distribution center, to be ruled "null and void."More >>
Sunday, March 30 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-03-30 10:00:07 GMT
Leaders say the project will help revitalize western Louisville. But Walmart's agreement with the city fails to answer key questions about the types of jobs that will be created and how hiring goals will be measured.More >>
Leaders say the project will help revitalize western Louisville. But Wal-Mart's agreement with the city fails to answer key questions about the types of jobs that will be created and how hiring goals will be measured. More >>
Tuesday, March 25 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-03-26 01:51:17 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Franklin Circuit court judge has ruled that the developers of the Bluegrass Pipeline cannot use eminent domain to secure private land to build the pipeline. Developers hadMore >>
A Franklin Circuit court judge ruled that the developers of the natural gas liquids pipeline cannot condemn land to secure easements for the project. More >>