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    When people think of holiday shopping, they often think of fighting their way through heavy traffic and wrestling crowds at the malls. The Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA) wants to remind consumers that they do have an alternative that comes with plenty of benefits: buying holiday gifts from locally-owned, independent retailers.

    This holiday season, consumers can add one more reason to shop locally: a chance to win $1,000 to spend at any LIBA member business. On the cusp of Black Friday, LIBA has today launched the Holiday Passport Contest. The rules are easy: collect receipts from ten member businesses by 1/5/10, present the receipts for review at one of the sponsor sites (ear X-tacy or Wild & Woolly Video), and you’ll be entered to win. Once receipts are verified, they are returned to the owner on the spot. The drawing will be held Wednesday, January 6, 2010, and the winner will get to choose from over 225 LIBA businesses where they wish to spend their $1,000.

    By purchasing locally, consumers help to preserve the unique community character of the Metro Louisville area. Dollars spent at community-based merchants also create a multiplier effect in the local economy. Studies have shown that for every $100 spent at a chain, only $15 remains in the community. But spending $100 at a home town business keeps $45 in the community. And when you want to find a gift that’s truly unique, independent businesses are the place to go. 

    “The members of LIBA are about personal attention, a focus on customer service, the pleasure of shopping alongside friends and neighbors, and keeping local dollars within our community,” says Carol Besse of Carmichael’s Bookstore. “When we shop local, we all win.”

    Full contest details and a list of participating businesses are at

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