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Louisville's 'Buy-Local' Campaign Helps Small Businesses Compete for Holiday Cash

Louisville’s independent business community is hoping for a year of positive returns as they compete with price-wary shoppers and a market that’s been moving online.

This year, members of the Louisville Independent Business Association--or LIBA--participated in a survey by the group Civic Economics, which has produced small business surveys for other cities.The survey showed just over half the money spent at independent businesses stayed in the community, which was contrasted with 13 percent of dollars spent at well-known chain stores.Other surveys—like one provided by the Institute for Local Self Reliance—show cities with buy-local campaigns make more during the holidays and garner more interest from new customers.While small business studies like these vary, LIBA president Jennifer Rubenstein says the contrast is telling.“I think that it stands to reason that more dollars stay locally,” she says.Rubenstein says Louisville’s campaign has tried to encourage all businesses to follow suit.“We encourage local businesses to walk the talk. If they want to encourage shoppers to come in and purchase locally then they should consider where they purchase their goods from as well,” she said.Interest in LIBA has been steadily growing and the association currently has 500 members, up from 415 earlier this year, says Rubenstein.