Includes Hometown Tourist event hosted by Mayor Greg Fischer
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 9, 2016) — Mayor Greg Fischer will help celebrate Small Business Week during a Hometown Tourist event at 11 a.m. May 10, at 4th Street Live. The event will recognize Louisville’s many area attractions and museums as small businesses, with additional events planned throughout the week, including a stop by Sweet Peaches in west Louisville, the release of summer class dates for the Etsy Entrepreneurship Program, the grand opening of Granite America and Fischer teaching a course on “How to Start a Small Business” at the How-To Festival held at the Main Library on May 14.
Events held throughout the week are designed to recognize and to promote the city’s small businesses, entrepreneurs and business advocates.
“Large investments in the economy tend to make the headlines; however, more than 80 percent of our workforce is employed by small businesses,” said Fischer. “These small businesses are the backbone of our community, and their continued investments translate to sustained growth for our region.”
Louisville’s impressive rebound from the Great Recession—including 47,500 new jobs and a drop in unemployment from 10.3 percent in 2011 to most recently, 5.2 percent—is largely linked to the creation of some 2,500 new businesses, many of those small businesses.
While the definition of small business can run the gamut from 1 to 500 employees, Louisville Metro focuses its small business development efforts on businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
Louisville Forward’s Small Business Development team offers services and connections to small business owners that are looking to start or grow their business, to locate a site for their business or to join one of the city’s nearly two dozen business associations.
Specific programs offered by the Small Business Development team include:
- The Metropolitan Business Development Corporation (METCO) Loan Program – The METCO program governs Metro’s small business loans which include façade, accessibility, startup capital and gap financing loans. Since 2011, METCO has made 144 small business loans totaling $11.6 million, leveraging more than $90 million in private investment and creating nearly 1,200 jobs.
- Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Program – The Etsy program helps local crafters learn the business skills needed to succeed in an online marketplace. The program has had five successful classes, graduating 40 artists with a sellable talent.
- Vendor Portal – Launched just last month, the new vendor portal added to the Division of Purchasing’s city webpage allows businesses to register themselves as interested in doing business with Metro. This allows the city to support small businesses with the intent to “buy local” more often. More than 100 businesses have registered on the portal.
Louisville residents are encouraged to join in Small Business Week by shopping local and promoting their favorite small businesses on social media using #LouisvilleBiz. Follow Louisville Forward on Twitter @LouForward and Instagram @LouisvilleForward for the latest on Small Business Week.