When it comes to shopping these days, "people tend to do things on the Internet," says Taraneh Dadmarz, owner of the English Rose Garden.
Accordingly, Dadmarz does much of her floral business online and over the phone, supplying bouquets and arrangements for local events, parties and weddings.
But not every business can or wants to operate in the online world.
This week, the Citizens Association of Georgetown (CAG) issued a rallying cry of sorts on the Georgetown neighborhood listserv.
CAG President Jennifer Altemus wrote:
It is so important for all of us to make a conscious effort to shop local. Instead of running to the mall or going online, pop down the street and get a unique treasure for that special someone – and pick up something for yourself while you’re there!
CAG runs a Priority Merchant Program whereby members receive discounts at local shops and businesses when they flash their CAG membership card.
"The CAG program is wonderful of course. It's a way of linking the local merchants with the residents," said David Brooks of Appalachian Spring.
Brooks said he opened his business in Georgetown some 43 years ago and still has loyal customers today who first started coming by over 40 years ago.
But not every store can be so lucky. "There’s always change- it’s totally a fluid community," he said.
The economy and rent structure contribute to the shift in tenants, said Brooks.
"It's the economy really," said Dadmarz about why so many places just have not been able to hold on.
Brooks said his shop has benefited from the CAG program.
"We’ve been doing it for several years. We get quite a few [CAG customers] each month. It’s a very good thing for us and a good thing for Georgetown."
But Dadmarz said she does not really get any business through the CAG merchants program. That's not to say she does not get local business, just that the nature of her business does not lend itself to the program.
Architect Robert Bell said he has not really received much in the way of clients from the CAG merchants program either, but he sees its merits for other businesses and the community in general.
"[Georgetowners] always love to keep anything that’s a good business...and there are still lots of people out there who have good businesses," said Bell.
CAG Executive Director Betsey Cooley agreed, "One of the wonderful things about Georgetown are the independent stores that are very invested in the neighborhood."