ARP money floated to help New Albany businesses impacted by construction

ARP money floated to help New Albany businesses impacted by construction
Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 4:29 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2022 at 4:30 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Construction work in New Albany has squeezed local businesses. Owners are pleading for a lifeline. One council member has come up with an idea to help.

“Peak disruption if you will at this point in time, we have one narrow stretch of Main Street between two pretty main arteries Pearl and Bank that’s pretty much pinched off,” said New Albany Council Member Al Knable. (R)

Knable wants the city redevelopment commission to see if it can use $500,000 of federal American Rescue Plan money to help businesses caught in a pinch. He said the city has a little more than a year to spend more than $2 million.

“Take a very hard look, let’s set aside $500,000, about 20 percent of what is left and let’s see if helping these businesses out falls under the umbrella of the ARP,” Knable said.

It’s been a rough summer for businesses. A contractor started work on Main Street in September. That project won’t finish until August 2023. Large closures on the Sherman Minton bridge have only added to the headaches.

“We’ve had a stark decrease in business and a lot of people are saying it’s because they didn’t think we were open,” said Tristan Thompson, an employee of Agave & Rye.

Some business owners told WAVE off camera they don’t support the idea asking where does it end. But Knable believes this will be a one time lifeline.

“I’ve never seen an exact duplication of this set of circumstances,” said Knable.

The council is set to hear the resolution on December 15.