The concept of Shop Durham really begin with our sister site, Best of the Bull. It’s local blog about the city of Durham. Writing only about businesses, organizations, etc. that were founded here in Durham.

The site grew quickly in popularity simply because we were sharing what makes Durham, well, Durham. Great people and great local businesses.

We wondered how we could take it a step further and encourage locals to support the homegrown businesses that keep Durham unique. Enter, Shop Durham!

We launched Shop Durham in 2017 with nothing more than a love for the great city of Durham and its local businesses! It’s our hope that we can help build a better local community and help keep Durham unique.

It's a local mindset

Shop Durham was designed to reward you for shopping locally, but it’s not just about saving. ​

It’s a reason to choose local first next time you need a gift, a cup of coffee, a quick bite to eat, a new outfit.

How to use your card

Use your card to get rewards, discounts, and freebies at locally owned businesses all over Durham. 

Keepin' Durham Local

What’s most important to us is whether or not we’re making a difference in Durham. We want locals to see the benefits of keeping your dollars in Durham. To see how benefits the local economy.  To keep our city unique.

Durham is growing and we can all choose the direction we want it to go in by what we invest in every single day.

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Why Choose Local First?

Durham's Unique Character​

Durham is known for it’s unique character, history, and people. We want Durham to always stay true to itself. Stay local, unique, and maybe a little gritty.

Strength Local Economy​

Locally owned businesses circulate 3 times more money back into the local economy than chain stores. That's because local businesses re-spend that money throughout the local economy at a much greater rate.


Our local businesses communities foster a sense of place, social capital, promote civic engagement, employ our community, and bring social enjoyment beyond the exchange of money for goods.

Property Values

Neighborhoods served by successful independent businesses gained, on average, 50% more in home values. Local business owners are your neighbors. They genuinely care about the well-being of your community because it’s their home too.

Did you know that locally owned businesses circulate 3 times more money back into the local economy than chain stores?

Our team

Katelyn Belch

Founder & Director

Most days, you’ll find me chasing our toddler around, snapping photos of my favorite spots around Durham — or selling a house or two. (Yep, I own a real estate company too!)

I hope you enjoy the Shop Durham card and discover something about the city that is new to you.

Tony Belch

Co-Founder & partnerships

I’m a Durham native and have loved watching this city transform. One of the things I enjoy most about Durham is the diverse population that creates such a wonderful mix of art, culture, and perspectives. 

Most days you will find me working at Duke University or doing my best to keep up with my entrepreneurial wife and energetic son! We hope you enjoy Shop Durham as much as we enjoy doing it. 

Support the local community

Support the local community with your Shop Durham card.  $1 of your purchase will go to our non-profit partners- Communities in Schools of Durham, Scrap Exchange, Duke Homestead, and World Church Service.