When I moved to Houston 4 years ago, I immediately noticed something unique that I hadn’t experienced living in other cities…how supportive the city was and how we encouraged one another, whether it be fellow entrepreneurs, local businesses, or mom-and-pop shops, to thrive. Settling into the West University area, I was captivated by the strong sense of community which was further confirmed when I was introduced to the “Stay Loyal and Local Campaign” by the Bellaire Business Association.

The Bellaire Business Association, in conjunction with West University and Southside Place businesses, want local residents to know about the wealth of goods and services available in our neighborhoods. Shopping local has so many benefits… When you shop local, you are buying products and services from your family, friends, and neighbors. Supporting locally owned businesses build stronger communities by connecting neighbors in a network of economic and social relationships and contributing to local causes.

According to the Bellaire Business Association, “Local sales of goods and services generate sales and property tax revenues that directly contribute to city revenues to supply residents with police, fire, infrastructure and more. For every one dollar residents spend at a local business, 56 cents stays in the community, compared to zero from online sales. Think of all the donations received for neighborhood schools, teams, charities, etc. Shopping locally is a way to give back and reduce cardboard recycling. A study by American Express found that home values in neighborhoods with strong, local retail districts grew at a much faster rate over a 14-year period than those without. [https://www.independentwestand.org/home-value-calculator/]”

Personally, I get so much pleasure when I take a barre class at Define: Bellaire and run into the owner (or her daughter) and when I choose to buy a toy from Imagination Toys and Shoes for my sons (instead of buying something similar online). In addition, small local shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions make communities unique. Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community, who care about the outcomes because they will feel the impacts of those decisions. Compared to national stores, locally owned businesses recirculate a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.

The spirit of entrepreneurship which is vibrant here in West University, Southside and Bellaire fuels our community’s economic innovation and prosperity and serves as a key means for individuals and families to pursue their passions and dreams. To learn more about the Stay Loyal Stay Local Campaign, visit bellairebiz.org      

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