LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) – ‘Staying local’ is what thousands of people decided to do Sunday at Water Tower Park to support local businesses.

The 9th annual Buy Local Fair was hosted by the Louisville Independent Business Alliance, which represented 180 vendors at Sunday’s fair.

Handmade crafts, clothing, furniture, food trucks, and local breweries catered to the more than 9,000 people in attendance.

“More money stays circulating in the local economy when you spend it at these local businesses and also these are the places that really make up the character of our town” said Business Alliance Executive Director Jennifer Rubenstein.

There were even businesses aimed at helping small businesses grow by keeping as much as possible local.

“Small business is so important to Louisville. Whether you’re making custom pet food and delivering it, you’re doing diapers, or you’re a plumber,” said Jennifer Shima, who created the start-up business TheBacon.com

As temperatures neared 90 degrees, anything cold was a hot commodity and any shade came at a premium as people crowded in areas to get out of the sun.

The Louisville Water Company even refilled water bottles for free to make sure everyone stayed hydrated.

Most of the vendors at the fair do not have pop-up shops or brick and mortar stores and benefit from fairs like Sunday’s to advertise their companies and hopefully grow.

“We also have some home-based businesses that kind of sell online and don’t have a store front so you can really find some hidden treasures here,” Rubenstein said.

The Louisville Independent Business Alliance says for every $100 spent, $55 will always circulate locally – which is nearly three times more than chain stores.

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