Louisville may be famous for being the home of the boxer, Muhammad Ali, but it’s also the home to six Fortune 500 companies, UPS Airlines, the University of Louisville, the Kentucky Derby, the Louisville Cardinals, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. The city’s economy is built on a strong shipping and cargo industry, as well as countless small business and larger corporations all working within various, crucial professions.
Other than the Kentucky Derby Festival, the city hosts many cultural events, like the Humana Festival of New American Plays, the Forecastle Festival, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and the Kentucky State Fair. Today, Louisville is also the production site for one-third of Kentucky's bourbon whiskey, (and Kentucky makes up 95% of the products' global production.) Because of this unique industry, many tourists arrive in Louisville to tour distilleries and check out the city's Urban Bourbon Trail. Several small businesses cater to those tourists arriving in search of Louisville's famed bourbon, music, and horse races.
Small businesses have an advantage in this city because Louisville takes pride in its many independent restaurants, small businesses, and shops. The city's business community and culture demonstrate a unique blend of old and new. In just the last decade, the city has suddenly developed tech-related companies and is even the site of a Google Fiber ultra-fast network. At the same time, many years ago the Hot Brown sandwich was invented in Louisville by a small business, and even the famous Old-Fashioned cocktail was invented by a company here.