LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA) will present the first in a series of short West Louisville Trailblazers videos highlighting successful businesses on Wednesday, June 15 at 12:00 p.m.

With support from AMPED’s Russell Tech Business Incubator, the series will highlight success stories and help change the narrative around business in West Louisville. The first guests featured are William and Christina Starks of G. Starks Realty, a business William’s mother started in 2000. Designed not only to inspire area residents to become entrepreneurs, the videos will also highlight various resource providers for small businesses, including AMPED/RTBI and the Small Business Development Center in this episode.

“We know that the barriers to business owner success can seem overwhelming to West Louisville residents,” says Brittany Hill-Whitehead, director of the Russell Tech Business Incubator. “We and other business resource providers are here to support entrepreneurs every step of the way so they can make their dreams a reality.”

LIBA wants to shine a light on West Louisville in part because of the increased investment in the area and the potential for local businesses to thrive. Since 2014, nearly $1 billion has been invested or earmarked for West Louisville development. Johnetta Roberts, LIBA Neighborhood Initiatives, says there is also an incentive to keep West Louisville money in the community by specifically encouraging independent businesses. “Businesses owned by community residents will alleviate the problem of gentrification. We need the dollars spent to be recycled in the West End and the city in general. Independent businesses are the best way to do this.

“My mother was a pioneer in West Louisville,” says William Starks, co-owner of G. Starks Realty. “She was a single mother who wanted more for her life and for her children and was blessed with the support and mentorship of Joe Hammond (of Joe’s Palm Room). With her will to succeed and her guidance, she established herself as one of the only black female real estate brokers in town. We are honored to continue his legacy of helping people realize their dream of home ownership.

LIBA plans to continue the series as a way to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs and connect them to resources for success while honoring the West Louisville Trailblazers. For more information and to register for June 15e first visit www.keeplouisvilleweird.com/Trailblazers.

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