West Louisville business incubator molding minds, improving skills of entrepreneurs

A west Louisville restaurant owner upgraded her skill set during her business’ renovation at the Russell Technology Business Incubator
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 10:07 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Sweet Peaches reopened its doors on Friday after being closed for nearly three months for renovations.

“I never knew what a new floor, some paint, some signage, I never knew how it could change my attitude,” Pamela Haines, Sweet Peaches owner said. “With each stroke of paint they put on the wall, I gained more and more hope.”

Along with the upgraded interior, Haines upgraded her business-owner skills set, all thanks to the Russell Technology Business Incubator, a program by AMPED. RTBI invested around $40,000 in Sweet Peach’s renovations, interior design, finance classes, and restaurant consulting.

Sweet Peaches is one of 37 Black and Latinx-owned businesses receiving support from the program.

“0.8% of businesses in Louisville are Black-owned, and that isn’t because we don’t know what we’re doing or we can’t do it, we just don’t have the resources to do it with,” Dave Christopher, executive director of AMPED said. “What the incubator is about is to provide every single thing those businesses need to then grow into legacy businesses.”

The program’s goal is to build businesses up and teach the owners the knowledge to make them last, so they can pass both down to the next generation, creating a generation of wealth.

Christopher told WAVE 3 News the effort won’t happen over night.

“That’s the thing we have to get away from is thinking this is a one-day problem or one year problem, it took centuries for us to get here,” Christopher said. “For this to be the low-income neighborhood that it is, as bad off as it is, this took a long time to happen. We can’t believe it’ll be fixed that quickly.”

60 additional businesses are on RTBI’s waitlist to receive support.

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