"Best Downtown Partner": The BeLocal Advantage

The BeLocal Georgetown team celebrating the win

Congratulations to BeLocal Georgetown, the Texas Downtown Association’s 2023 “Best Downtown Partner Award” winner! This is not only a win for BeLocal Georgetown, but a win for all BeLocals across the country as it honors the amazing work we do in every community we serve.

The “Best Downtown Partner Award” recognizes a local, private, or civic organization that positively impacts the community and actively contributes to the revitalization efforts of the downtown or commercial district. A magazine may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but read on for a compelling explanation of why BeLocal Georgetown – and all BeLocals for that matter – strengthens the community it calls home.

BeLocal Georgetown team with fellow winner and notable Georgetown leadersBeLocal Georgetown publisher with fellow award winner and Georgetown Mayor

Photo 1: The BeLocal Georgetown team pictured with fellow winner City Post Chophouse, along with representatives of the city of Georgetown, the Georgetown Chamber, and additional community leaders. Photo credit: Ron Parks

Photo 2: Laura Capes Terry pictured with fellow winner and BeLocal advertiser Kevin Cummins (owner of City Post Chophouse) and Georgetown Mayor Josh Schroeder. Photo credit: David Valdez

BeLocal Georgetown is a hyperlocal newcomer guide that connects new residents with the best resources and brands in Georgetown, Texas – and its downtown district is at the heart of this amazing city. BeLocal Georgetown’s mission is to elevate the city of Georgetown by sharing what the locals love about their community with its newcomers – in print, online, and through social media.

Each and every month, we use the power of print and digital mediums to proactively welcome newcomers into Georgetown. Whether they’re in their homes, on their computers, or scrolling on their phones, this comprehensive local resource meets new movers where they are to make them feel welcome and to ease their transition into Georgetown.

→ See the digital issue of BeLocal Georgetown here!

It’s clear to see in the pages of the magazine that the BeLocal Georgetown staff, led by the amazing publisher Laura Capes Terry, works with long-time locals and dozens of community leaders to produce and distribute BeLocal to their area’s newest homeowners every month. Each article was curated to serve newcomers the moment they buy and move into a home in Georgetown.

“Together, we pass on the heart, history, and culture of Georgetown to these new families that will shape the future of our city as we grow,” says Laura.

In BeLocal Georgetown, you’ll find these articles (and more!):

  • A welcome letter from the mayor
  • A list of community leaders who brought BeLocal to life for their community
  • The Top 10 things you should do when you first move to Georgetown
  • The Top 5 city resources you should know when owning a home in Georgetown
  • A local guide to the history of Georgetown
  • Local guides to dining and shopping
  • A local guide to coffee shops and book nooks
  • A local guide to fun activities for kids and families
  • A local guide to places for pets
  • Local guides to charities and community events
  • An article on the future of Georgetown
  • A feature on Southwestern University
“This the resource I wish I had when I moved here,” said Ann Kaiser, Volunteer of the Year and Ambassador of the Year for the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce.
article from BeLocal GeorgetownWoman holding BeLocal in front of muralBeLocal advertiser

BeLocal is known for providing a “yellow brick road” to the new families moving into an area. BeLocal helps newcomers shave 5+ years off the process of settling into their community. Through the guide, they quickly find the places they’ll love, the things they love to do, and the people they love to hang out with.

The creation of BeLocal Georgetown, as with many of our BeLocals nationwide, has filled a big hole in the community. We reach new residents who are buying a home in the community and are putting their kids in the local schools, supporting the downtown economy, spending their money with local businesses, supporting local charities, and sharing the beautiful downtown with their friends and families who visit.

“At BeLocal, we believe the faster we can introduce these new families to the best resources and brands in town, the faster they’ll plug in, find their tribe, and become active members of our community,” said Laura.

Every origin story of a BeLocal magazine is different, though the needs of the community that inspires the launch of a new magazine are often aligned. So what is BeLocal Georgetown’s unique background? Here’s the story, as shared in the award nomination:

When we first launched BeLocal in Cedar Park in 2020, we were runner-up for New Business of the Year from the Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce… so we knew we were on to something special. One year later, our publisher, Laura Capes Terry, enrolled in Leadership Georgetown and saw first-hand all the challenges that the City of Georgetown was facing with its rapid growth. So Laura decided to bring BeLocal to Georgetown, and BeLocal Georgetown was born.

But she did not do it alone. BeLocal exists because of the support she received from dozens of forward-thinking community leaders who wanted to be a part of welcoming newcomers into our community. They knew what was at stake if we didn’t find a way to welcome and influence new families as they moved into Georgetown. So BeLocal is funded by dozens of local businesses that want to be the first in their industry to welcome these new families.

These local businesses don’t need to advertise. Instead, they wanted to show their love and support for the community of Georgetown by financially supporting this essential local resource guide.

To that end, when we brought a copy of BeLocal Cedar Park to The City of Georgetown to ask if they’d like to be a part of creating BeLocal Georgetown, they said something along the lines of: “We’ve known for years that the newcomer is the future of Georgetown. We just haven’t had the time or resources to proactively reach out and welcome them. Can we partner with you?”

BeLocal launched on May 20, 2022, and is financially supported by our local business community for the next 3+ years. As long as our local businesses continue to value the opportunity to proactively reach out and welcome newcomers, BeLocal will live on for years to come.

Everything we do at BeLocal is designed to elevate the City of Georgetown – to show that it’s a great place to live, work, and visit – and our downtown district is at the heart of that.

How can one magazine, mailed to a new list of newcomers every month, really make such a monumental (and award-winning) impact?

  • When BeLocal is proactively mailed into the homes of our newest homeowners each month, these families are quickly connected to the collective “word of mouth” of our community. They find our most beloved local resources, our hidden gems, and our local favorites. They also meet community leaders and discover ways to plug in and give back. This helps them to feel welcomed and quickly connect to the heart, history, and culture of the area, as well as to our local business community.
  • Because of BeLocal, the City of Georgetown (and more than one hundred other communities nationwide) has a free and effective resource to proactively communicate with the new families that are buying homes and moving into town. Because of the financial support of local businesses, the community has a trusted and potent medium they can count on to assist them with proactive outreach to newcomers each month for years to come.
  • Because of BeLocal, local business communities have a safe, effective, and trusted means to connect with newcomers at the time they’re naturally seeking products and services from new-to-them local providers. Newcomers are 10x more likely to do business with the first recommendation they get from a trusted resource. And since newcomers don’t have brand awareness, brand loyalty, or a word-of-mouth network, BeLocal acts like a trusted matchmaker to quickly connect newcomers to the best resources and brands in town.
  • Because of BeLocal, our cities’ most beloved resources are put in the spotlight for these newcomers. From historical landmarks to public squares to visitor’s centers, and so much more, readers can quickly connect with what locals love most about their new city.
  • Because of BeLocal, a city’s history is passed on to its newest residents. They get to know key points in the history as well as in the hearts, culture, and people of the area. Because of BeLocal, local charities are introduced to the new families moving into town. These charities typically don’t have media budgets and can’t afford to advertise. But because no one pays to be in the editorial features in BeLocal, we are honored to be able to spotlight the great local charities serving our communities.

The BeLocal national website attracts over 1.5M visitors per year. With our national reach and our national reputation, we can touch thousands of people living in other states who are interested in living in one of the communities BeLocal serves. When they view our digital resources online, these prospective newcomers can experience what the locals love about living, working, and playing in amazing places like Georgetown, Texas.

Header photo taken by Ron Parks of Ron Parks Photography.