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Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg announces draft of economic development plans

Mayor Craig Greenberg speaking in front of stakeholders at a press conference
Joe Sonka
Mayor Craig Greenberg announced the draft of the "Growing Louisville Together" initiative will bring economic prosperity and promote opportunity.

The plan, entitled Growing Louisville Together, spans 52 pages and encompasses multiple citywide issues. Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said the new draft embraces opportunities and addresses challenges head-on.

The draft has four key points of economic investment: education, social infrastructure, entrepreneurial development and city branding. City officials said the finalized economic development plan will be complete by December.

The city has hired the economic development firm Ginovus to further the strategic plan. Its Executive Managing Director Larry Gigerich outlined more details of the draft in the meeting with over 100 stakeholders.

Gigerich said the future investments that come from the new plan are meant to boost venture capital to combat the decline in Louisville’s population between the ages of 25 and 54.

Greenberg said this new strategic plan will create a “boomerang effect” that will bring former Louisvillians back to the city.

“There are no two greater stories right now than Jeff Brohm and Jack Harlow, two greats that were raised in Louisville, love their city, learn their craft and perfected their craft elsewhere and are now back home in Louisville, helping our city move forward,” he said.

Greenberg said, over the next decade, the city plans to establish universal pre-K programs and invest in career readiness programs for post secondary students. He said Louisville Metro Government plans to ask the Kentucky General Assembly for $20 million dollars towards universal pre-K education programs.

The new plan also seeks to invest in more citywide affordable housing, a plan Greenberg announced in October. Gigerich said the city hopes to create 15,000 affordable housing units by 2027.

Stakeholders at the meeting expressed concerns ahead of the new strategic plan, specifically the racial disparities in business ownership.

Greenberg said entrepreneurial development must include bringing more Black-owned businesses to Louisville.

“The reality right now is that our citizenry is about 20% to 23% Black in Louisville,” he said. “Just over 2% of the businesses in Louisville are owned by individuals who are Black. That is totally unacceptable.”

The draft said the city will support organizations like the Louisville Urban League with its program A Path Forward, dedicated to developing Black-owned businesses, addressing relationships between the Black community and local police, and investing in the Black community's health and education.

Greenberg said Louisville Metro has also partnered with University of Louisville to plan for a business engagement center that will offer mentorship and programming opportunities for city entrepreneurs.

This story was updated to clarify the goals of the A Path Forward program.

Giselle is LPM's breaking news reporter. Email Giselle at grhoden@lpm.org.