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'Look Local First', initiative aims to help struggling businesses during the pandemic

Thrift store closing
Posted at 5:36 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 18:36:25-05

BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — Tired of seeing businesses close their doors due to the pandemic. Well, one local Brazos Valley man decided to do something, to help prevent it.

"One of my favorites- Small Cakes, just closed over on University,” Vincent Brown, Owner, of BCS VizyPay said, "...and that one hit me pretty hard." he added.

Vincent Brown is determined to help struggling businesses stay open.

"I want to be out there to actively push, that message, to go 'Look Local First,'" Brown said.

The local small business owner is taking action with his initiative to highlight different gems in the city.
He started by putting the spotlight, on I Heart Mac and Cheese.

"It was a comfort to me, because it was one less thing I had to do as I got ready for a grand re-opening that makes me nervous," Laura Livingston, Owner of I Heart Mac and Cheese, said.

The small franchise opened its first location last Jan., then a second one in Century Square last Sept. Three months later, this new location was forced to close its doors.

"We couldn't pay the bills. It was costing us more money to be open than it was to be closed," Livingston said.

The owners are hopeful they can bring back life to the restaurant, reopening on Friday, Jan 22.

This time though, with Brown's help spreading the word.

He's posting pictures, using the hashtag, 'Look Local First', and pouring his own resources into the movement to drive the message home.

"If I can make sure, you know, one business gets their traffic back up to at least a normal area with the students, and the students being back, and all that, that's really the goal," Brown said.

Brown plans to highlight a different local restaurant each week.

Follow the hashtag 'Look Local First' to see which local business will get the spotlight next.