An online survey could help bring more businesses to the Russell - WDRB 41 Louisville News

An online survey could help bring more businesses to the Russell Neighborhood

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The revitalization effort continues in Russell, but city leaders are now looking to business owners to find out what they need to survive in this area.

About two years ago, Pamela Haines took a step of faith.

"I was willing to put everything I had -- everything I saved -- into this neighborhood," said Haines.

She opened Sweet Peaches on the corner of 18th and Muhammad Ali Boulevard in the heart of the Russell neighborhood.

"I was apprehensive because this isn't one of the most ideal parts of town," Haines shared.

She took a chance on an area that's seen its fair share of crime.  But the journey to give Russell something sweet is so far a lonely one.

"I do feel like I'm by myself, because I am. What else is there to offer?" Russell explained.  "I look this way, I see a vacant lot, I look that way, there's a vacant house. The city needs to put more attention in this neighborhood."

That's the purpose of Vision Russell, a collaborative plan to transform the area by creating more economic opportunity.

The Vision Russell Neighborhood Task Force launched a survey exclusively for Russell business owners.

"We're trying to reach out in a very transparent way to ask businesses to help us to better understand their needs and what it takes to be a successful business in Russell," said Sam Watkins, President and CEO of the Louisville Central Community Centers.

Haines said she doesn't plan on holding back on this survey.

"I'm going to voice my opinion, good or bad. The more good that comes in, the bad will eventually go away," said Haines.

The survey takes about 5-7 minutes to complete.  The data will be compiled and analyzed by members of the task force.

Haines said she hopes the responses will help the city make a difference.

The city will use the results from the survey to put together an improvement plan.  That plan is expected to be complete and submitted by January 2017.

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