South Louisville residents want more locally-owned businesses - WDRB 41 Louisville News

South Louisville residents want more locally-owned businesses

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A survey of South Louisville residents indicates they would like to see more locally owned businesses to set up shop in their neighborhoods.

The survey was sponsored by the Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA), the creators of the 'Keep Louisville Weird' campaign.

"The top category was restaurants," said Jennifer Rubenstein, director of LIBA, "and they also want to see companies like Heine Brothers Coffee, Bluegrass Brewing Company, and Rainbow Blossom."

The survey is part of a new campaign called 'Keep South Louisville Weird."

Explains Rubenstein, "Part of our outreach efforts is just educating the neighborhood residents about why local businesses make a difference to their neighborhood; how it keeps their neighborhood character thriving and benefits them economically because more of the money spent stays in their neighborhood."

Rainbow Blossom is one of several locally owned businesses identified in the survey that the south end residents would like to see come to their part of town.

Rainbow Blossom, a natural foods grocery company already has five stores in Louisville -- all in the eastern part of town.

After seeing the results of the survey, the owners of Rainbow Blossom are now looking at the possibility of expanding.

"Up until now it hasn't been a place that we've thought about," said Summer Auerbach, one of Rainbow Blossom's owners.

"But now we've been giving more thought to it, we were very happy to see we were one of the businesses named in the survey."

Auerbach says a decision to open a new store doesn't come easily because it is so costly for a small business.

"Hundreds of thousands of dollars, certainly. Hundreds of thousands in inventory and hundreds of thousands in construction costs," Auerbach said. "It is a big investment and you want to make sure you find the right location."

LIBA is getting help from its national organization, The American Independent Business Alliance, in an effort to get more businesses to come to the South end.

"Now what we need to be able to do is connect the next dots, so the capital, the entrepreneurs, the locations to be able to fulfill that local demand, create local jobs and create a stronger local economy," said Joe Grafton, the Director of Community Engagement for the American Independent Business Alliance.

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