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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The city of Louisville is asking for the public's advice on how to make a proposed incubator for minority-owned businesses a reality.

According to a news release from Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's office, the city has issued a Request for Information in connection with the proposal. An RFI invites anyone who wants to submit comments, questions or ideas to shape "the creation of an incubator to serve minority-owned businesses, or growth of an existing entity."

"We know that minority-owned businesses, and specifically Black business owners, face greater economic challenges, including lack of access to capital and overall support, that prevent them from enjoying the same economic benefits and financial stability as other businesses," said Mayor Fischer, in a statement. "Providing funds to a Minority Business Enterprise incubator is another action Louisville Metro is looking to take to help move the needle toward ensuring opportunity is evenly spread across our city."

The city is looking to fund one or more organizations to open and operate a business incubator to provide business support resources and services. Those resources and services could include shared office space and supplies, networking opportunities, programming and mentoring around accounting and business finances, human resources, legal services, capital strategy and marketing and social media support.

Funding for the effort will be obtained through Louisville Forward's Department of Economic Development.

"We encourage anyone and everyone to provide feedback and insights that will help Louisville Metro best identify what the community needs in order to support Black and Brown entrepreneurs," said Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, chief of Louisville Forward, in a statement. "By finding new ways to support minority-owned businesses, we hope to narrow the racial wealth gap."

Anyone who wishes to submit comments is encouraged to answer the following questions:

  • Is a business incubator to serve minority-owned businesses needed in Louisville?
  • What do you think a business incubator is and / or what should it include?
  • What metrics should be used to measure the effectiveness of an incubator?
  • What are the best examples of a minority-owned business incubator to model?

All comments must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, at which time the city may draft and issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking organizations that are interested in operating a minority-owned businesses incubator in Louisville.

To submit comments, CLICK HERE. You may need to create a new Bonfire account, if you don't already have one.

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