December 11, 2017

Shop Local This Holiday Season


Bellaire Business Association
The Bellaire Business Association supports and promotes area merchants and has recently kicked off its “Shop Local” initiative, urging you to look no further for your holiday shopping needs.  Aside from the convenience of staying nearby and avoiding the hassle and stress of fighting the crowds at the mall, shopping local creates tangible benefits for your very own community.  It’s like giving yourself a gift, and it’s one that keeps on giving.

That we’re often described as a “City of Homes” doesn’t mean our retail sector is unimportant.  Indeed, a healthy commercial property tax base along with the sales taxes local businesses generate directly offset our heavy reliance on residential taxpayers to fund municipal services and projects.  When commerce is lagging, we feel it.  A recent decline in sales tax collections led to an almost 8% decrease in budgeted sales tax revenues for fiscal year 2018, requiring us to make up the difference elsewhere in the General Fund.  Also, many aren’t aware that METRO rebates back to us a portion of the 1% sales tax it collects from Bellaire businesses (the State gets 6.25% and the City the remaining 1%), providing needed funding for city streets and mobility projects.

Over the past decade we’ve gone to great lengths to encourage the redevelopment of our commercial corridors, appropriate to the residential character of our community.  It’s the major focus of the Comprehensive Plan we adopted in 2009 and updated in 2015.  Our commercial zoning changes are starting to pay off, with a number of high-profile projects currently and soon to be underway.  Supporting both new and existing businesses will help in attracting others.

The “Shop Local” initiative is just one way the Bellaire Business Association does its part.  The BBA is a nonprofit organization of business owners and interested residents whose mission is to promote Bellaire-area businesses, provide professional networking opportunities and foster local economic development.  It also supports the community through frequent event sponsorships and fundraisers.  To learn more about the BBA and its membership, check out its new website at bellairebiz.org.

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