Keep South Louisville Weird Survey Finds Desire For Restaurants, Shops

South Louisville residents want more restaurants, clothing stores, entertainment and bookstores, according to a survey release recently by the Louisville Independent Business Alliance.

The survey asked the 515 respondents what types of businesses they’d like to see—specifically, they asked for Heine Brothers’ Coffee, Blue Grass Brewing Co., Carmichael’s Bookstore and other local businesses found in other parts of the city, LIBA said.

LIBA calls the campaign Keep South Louisville Weird. The alliance is also responsible for the Keep Louisville Weird campaign.

Currently, 31 of LIBA’s 600 member businesses are located in south Louisville. LIBA director Jennifer Rubenstein said Keep South Louisville Weird began because its members in South Louisville expressed interest in building the presence of independent business there.

“We kind of felt like there was a good base to build from,” she said

Rebecca Fleischaker, assistant director of economic growth and innovation for Louisville Metro Government, says South Louisville residents and council members have also expressed interest in having more independent businesses, citing the proportion of chain businesses to independents.

Michael Boggs, co-owner of Carmichael’s, one of the requested businesses, has no intention of opening another location. But he hopes someone from South Louisville would consider opening a bookstore there.

“A business owner really needs to be connected to their community,” he said.

As a next step toward attracting more independent businesses, LIBA will hold a seminar where participants can see how independent business alliances operate and explore their advantages. Rubenstein said current and aspiring business owners and area residents are welcome at the seminar.

“This is kind of another opportunity for us to expand our reach into the community, so we’re inviting people who have been involved all along, but we’re also inviting people who are new to the movement,” she said.

Joe Grafton, director of community engagement for the American Independent Business Alliance, will facilitate the seminar.

“We’ll be talking about how independent businesses can engage in their community and can share with their community the value that they bring in that local economy. And sharing some tips and tricks along the way,” said Grafton, who adds that their research shows businesses in independent alliances show more growth than businesses that aren’t.

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