These days, shoppers have a wealth of options when looking to buy anything – whether it's a product, service, or meal.
One Arlington businesswoman is trying to keep shoppers local. Laura Heymann created "Shop Local Arlington" in an effort to connect consumers and businesses to other small businesses in the Arlington area.
The "Shop Local Arlington" website lists local businesses and categorizes them by type – restaurants, kids shopping, health clubs, or breaking it down even further by grouping stores by gift ideas: good gifts for her, for him or for the hobbyist or the gardener.
The hope is to highlight the small businesses that most people might not know about -- ones that don't have the name recognition or advertising power that the big box stores or national chains have.
“When people think about Arlington they think, there's the [Texas] Rangers and the [Dallas] Cowboys and the malls and The Highlands and all that is great,” said Heymann.
“But that's not what Arlington is. You can go to any mall from here to California and find virtually the same stores selling the same products. I don't think that's what makes Arlington so cool. What makes Arlington cool is that as I'm finding more and restaurants and stores that are family-owned, that's really the community's character.”
Wes Jurey, President of The Arlington Chamber of Commerce says shopping at locally-owned businesses as well as chains in Arlington both benefit the local economy, as chains pay sales taxes to the city and employ the local population.
“Buying locally, without making the distinctions of locally-owned, nationally-owned, chain, not a chain -- buying locally always is good business,” said Jurey.
He added, it’s all part of a diverse and vibrant local economy, one that small local businesses play a key roll in.