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West Louisville Business Owners See Prospects in New Loan Program

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (WAVE) – Starting a business anywhere is no easy task, but in West Louisville, business owners say they have a harder road to success.

In 2020, Tamika Bland launched Limitless, a technology and courier business. She said that capital was and remains her biggest problem, like any startup.

“It is extremely difficult for me to get capital in the West End,” said business owner Tamika Bland.

Bland said her zip code and skin color make loans more difficult than in other parts of the city.

“They look at you differently in other parts of town,” Bland said. “Differently in the race. I’m not saying it’s a race, but in my opinion, many black companies operating in the West End do not have access to certain opportunities that other companies have. ”

Charter Communications, which owns Spectrum, announced a $ 1 million loan to the government for small business loans in disadvantaged areas. This money, and the underlying loan program, can make it easier for business owners in places like West Louisville to obtain capital investment and financial services.

Democratic and GOP officials gave good reviews on the announcement Wednesday.

“I think this is one of the many steps we need to see in our private and public sectors,” Governor Andy Besheer said. “To make sure we can finally do the right thing, do it sustainably, do it constantly. To make sure we can start fixing bugs hundreds of years from now. “

Dave Christopher, founder of AMPED and Russell Tech Business Incubator, said lending institutions have historically underestimated black entrepreneurs and black-owned businesses.

“And that’s the problem,” Christopher said. “Here in West Louisville, they are talking about this assessment. So, when you walk through the door of a lending institution or someone trying to get help for a business, this is how you are perceived as less than. So you cannot get what you need, and you just have to try to understand it. “

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