By Alex Gladu, IWS Content Team
The Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA) has turned local businesses into the weirdest parts of the community – but that’s a good thing. As a member of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), LIBA brings independent businesses in Louisville together to promote the ‘buy local’ movement in new and creative ways.
LIBA encourages consumers in Louisville to shop at local businesses for the important benefits they bring to the community, including jobs, eco-friendly business practices and product diversity. These local businesses make Louisville “weird” because they are unique, eclectic and diverse, unlike the national chains and big-box stores that make other communities homogenous. In turn, the diversity makes Louisville more appealing to local shoppers and tourists alike, encouraging annual increases in consumer spending that bolster the economy. Because the economy depends on a network of locally owned businesses as opposed to a few big chains, Louisville is also better prepared to weather national economic fluctuations thanks to its weird collection of businesses.
LIBA’s success in promoting local businesses over time is reflected in the weird collection of businesses that support the alliance. Members range from local law firms like Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC, to grocery stores and utility companies like ValuMarket and the Louisville Water Company. The wide array of LIBA’s supporters show that even the most normal of businesses can work toward keeping Louisville and its economy weird. Because of the important work they do for the community, LIBA’s local business members are featured in the organization’s blog, Only in Louisville, where business owners and founders themselves explain what it means to be weird.
The idea behind keeping Louisville weird has worked so well for LIBA that it has since created a campaign called Keep South Louisville Weird to reach more consumers and more local businesses. With community events, outreach programs directed at local government and media and national support from AMIBA, the Louisville Independent Business Alliance has turned “weird” into the new cool on the way to turning local into the new go-to.
If you would like to start an Independent Business Alliance please visit the American Independent Business Alliance.