HOUSTON, TX- Just in time for the holidays, Houston’s collaborative spirit is in full force with the launch of the “Choose Local” campaign. Led by the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) and supported by partners in the arts, cultural and civic sectors, the initiative calls on residents of Houston and the surrounding areas, including Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, Waller, Chambers, Austin and San Jacinto counties, to patronize local businesses and support the local creative community.
"Our communities are full of generous and civic-minded residents eager to help their neighbors,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “What might seem like a small impact by one individual, becomes monumental when we work together. If you have the means, I strongly encourage you to look for the “Choose Local” logo and put your money where your heart is.”
Partners in the initiative include East End Houston, Greater Houston Partnership, Greater Houston Restaurant Association, Harvey Arts Recovery Fund, Houston Downtown Management District, Houston First Corporation, Houston Museum District, Midtown Houston, Theater District Houston and Washington Avenue Arts District.
“The arts and cultural groups and artists in our region have done an amazing job ensuring we have all the great offerings we rely on each year as part of our celebration of the season,” said Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Director Debbie McNulty. “With your purchase of a ticket, locally made craft or artwork, you are accelerating the full economic recovery of the community. I promise, you’re going to have fun and feel great when you do.”
The impact of the arts and cultural sector is far reaching: they pay their employees, purchase supplies and acquire assets within the local community, and their audiences leverage significant event-related spending. A vibrant arts and culture industry enhances quality of live and helps local businesses thrive. Prior to the storm, cultural nonprofits contributed more than $1.1 billion and over 25,000 jobs to the local economy. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, 71 cultural nonprofits alone reported a storm impact totaling more than $56 million, with 25 percent of that cost coming from post-storm service interruptions.
The Houston-area small business community was similarly hard-hit by the storm. At the end of September, the U.S. Small Business Administration had approved nearly $20 million in low-interest loans to businesses in Harris County alone.
For more information about the initiative or how to get involved, visit www.chooselocalartsandculture.com or follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @chooselocaltx.