May 25, 2023 9:27am
Jacksonville business leaders visit Louisville to glean best practices in downtown development
|Louisville, Ky. (May 25, 2023) – This week, Greater Louisville Inc. and more than a dozen community partners hosted business leaders from the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce (JAX Chamber) for their annual downtown trip. JAX Chamber selected Louisville for their trip focused on downtown development after hosting a group of 120 Louisville business leaders last year for GLI’s annual Greater Louisville Idea Development Expedition (GLIDE).
“Last year we took Louisville’s business leaders to Jacksonville to learn about their successful economic development structure. Through those conversations we found Louisville was on the JAX Chamber’s short list for their annual downtown development trip,” said Davasher-Wisdom. “It’s been great building that relationship and sharing best practices while also showing off the exciting things our community is doing to revitalize our downtown.”
The three-day trip included presentations and panel discussions from community organizations and business leaders including Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg, the Louisville Downtown Partnership, Louisville Tourism, Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation, Fund for the Arts, among many others. GLI president and CEO, Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, joined Mayor Greenberg and Executive Director of the Louisville Downtown Partnership, Rebecca Fleischaker, to welcome 38 Jacksonville business leaders during their opening reception.
“After an amazing GLIDE trip to Jacksonville last year where we were shown such incredible hospitality, I am thrilled that Louisville has the chance to repay the favor,” said Mayor Greenberg. “We are proud to have our friends from Jacksonville in town and hope that they learn about our amazing neighborhoods, growing economy and thriving arts scene. I also hope that, when they return home, they don’t keep it a secret that Louisville is a great place to visit.”
JAX Chamber represents more than 3,000 businesses across Northeast Florida and operates the regional economic development organization, JAXUSA Partnership, which works to bring jobs and talent to the region. The Chamber has been an integral part of Jacksonville’s continued growth and has been involved in projects like landing an NFL franchise, downtown riverwalks, and more.
“Learning what is successful in other cities is an excellent way to germinate potential and new projects or programs,” said Rebecca Fleischaker, executive director of Louisville Downtown Partnership. “We are proud of our Downtown being an authentic tourism destination full of bourbon, arts and culture, and with a $1 billion renaissance under way, we are confident that the JAX Chamber learned about the unique ways we have embraced our history and architecture and how we have activated our city center.”
As the 2019 Chamber of the Year, GLI has hosted several Chambers of Commerce on learning expeditions over the years. Earlier this year, the Greater Cleveland Partnership brought a group of business leaders to Louisville to study waterfront development. This year GLI’s GLIDE trip will take business leaders to Boston, Massachusetts.
“This trip was a great opportunity to build on some of the relationships that began last fall and learn from a detailed look at the incredible progress Louisville leaders have made in their downtown,” JAX Chamber Chair Brad Talbert said. “We thank Louisville leaders for their hospitality and hope this partnership between two growing, thriving cities continues in the coming years.”