LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Metro Louisville small business owners have more funding options, these days.
This week, Mayor Greg Fischer announced the expansion of eligibility for small business and commercial renovation loans.
That is helping businesses across the city open and grow.
“This is probably the most fun job that I’ve had,” said Camille Anderson-Linton, Highview Ice Cream & Coffee, Owner.
Anderson-Linton has never really considered herself to be a hot and cold person.
She said, “No, I’m pretty laid-back.”
But hot and cold is probably the best way to describe her business.
“This is the best industry to be in,” said Anderson-Linton. “Ice cream and coffee.”
Several years ago, Anderson-Linton used her life savings to open the ice cream and coffee shop in the Outer Loop Plaza. She said the business hit the ground running, but COVID-19 slowed it down.
“The pandemic hurt the restaurant industry really bad,” said Anderson-Linton. “And I tell people all the time…we’re in COVID survival mode.”
In this case, survival mode includes a loan to purchase a food truck and taking her business to customers.
“A lot of people still are kind of staying in their homes,” said Anderson-Linton. “So, food trucks go to them, they go to the neighborhoods, they go to events.”
Anderson-Linton got the loan through the Metropolitan Business Development Corporation or METCO. The program has provided millions of dollars in low-interest loans to local small businesses.
“So, the METCO loan program has been around for 40 years,” said Benjamin Moore, Director of Economic Development, Metro Louisville.
Moore explained the two loans recently added to the program. “Our business accelerator, which is now going to be available to any low and moderate-income business owners in Louisville,” said Moore. “And the revitalization, commercial revitalization loan, which eliminates a vacancy requirement. So, basically what we’re looking at is these two loan products — alongside the other METCO loan products — are now accessible to anyone in Louisville Metro with a few qualifiers.”
“Business has picked up, but it’s not where it would be without the pandemic,” said Anderson-Linton.
After weathering the ups and downs of the pandemic, Anderson-Linton believes the food-truck and loan will be a game-changer. “I’m very excited about it,” said Anderson-Linton. “The program has not only helped me get the food truck but also provided some working capital for the business.”
To find out more about the loans or how to apply, click here.
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