Jennifer Rubenstein, LIBA
Jennifer Rubenstein, LIBA

South Louisville has a bit of a retail void, not unlike neighborhoods all over town.

But south Louisville is getting some serious attention from “buy local” activists.

A recent survey of South End residents indicates a desire for more independent businesses in their neighborhoods, and a number of names come up from the Highlands, Crescent Hill and St. Matthews indie retail clusters.

The “Keep South Louisville Weird” survey, initiated by the Louisville Independent Business Alliance, tallied responses from 515 respondents across 33 ZIP codes in South Louisville, according to a LIBA news release.

Among the notable results:

• The largest responses came from 40214, 40272, 40258 and 40216. These areas are (broadly) Iroquois, Valley Station, Pleasure Ridge Park and Shively.

• The top requested categories were restaurants, clothing and apparel, entertainment and bookstores.

• The top specific requests were Heine Brothers’ Coffee, Bluegrass Brewing Company, Rainbow Blossom, Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen, and Carmichael’s.

From the post:

The survey was just one aspect of LIBA’s “Keep South Louisville Weird” campaign, which seeks to support independent businesses in the South End and to invite new, independent businesses to South Louisville. LIBA is using the survey results along with other information gathered in the last year to facilitate the Strength in Numbers Seminar.

The seminar is scheduled forTuesday, March 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Southwest Government Center, 7219 Dixie Hwy.

Joe Grafton, director of community engagement for the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), will be the facilitator.

The event combines a presentation and workshop.

Participants will get an “up-close look” at how other independent business alliances function and the lessons AMIBA has learned through their experience of helping more than 80 organizations through the process, according to the release.

The focus will be on building a culture of support for entrepreneurship, local branding, organization and funding.

The event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested: [email protected]

“This presentation and training will advance the work of the Keep South Louisville Weird campaign, it’s just what we need at this critical time in our development,” LIBA Director Jennifer Rubenstein stated in the release.

“In the strongest local economies, most dollars are spent at locally-owned businesses, where they recirculate several times in the community,”added Chris Vessels, owner of Total Office Products & Services near Cane Run Road.

“This multiplier effect is a critical, but often overlooked factor in creating community wealth. Sustaining local ownership isn’t just important for sustaining our community character, it’s key to the long-term economic vitality of South Louisville.”

According to a study completed by LIBA in conjunction with the American Booksellers Association, for every $100 spent in the Louisville area at a locally-owned, independent business, $55 is reinvested locally, whereas only $14 is reinvested when that same money is spent at a national chain.

For more information on the “Keep Louisville Weird” and “Keep South Louisville Weird” campaigns, visit the LIBA website here. Follow LIBA on Facebook here, and on Twitter @WeirdLouisville.

About the Louisville Independent Business Alliance: The mission of LIBA is to preserve the unique community character of the Metro Louisville area by promoting locally-owned businesses and to educate citizens on the value of buying locally.

Terry Boyd has seven years experience as a business/finance journalist, and eight years a military reporter with European Stars and Stripes. As a banking and finance reporter at Business First, Boyd dealt directly with the most influential executives and financiers in Louisville.


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