About Us

Shop Durham is a small, local grassroots operation with a big mission: To help keep Durham local.

We launched Shop Durham in 2017 with nothing more than a love for the great city of Durham and its local businesses.

The program was designed to reward you for shopping locally, but it’s so much more than that. When you use your Shop Durham card, you are stimulating our local economy by keeping your dollars in Durham- which creates jobs & embraces what makes Durham unique.

We also assist with fundraising efforts for Durham nonprofits like Duke Homestead, Scrap Exchange, Hope Animal Rescue, and many more.

With hundreds of participating businesses, including spots to eat or to grab coffee, photographers to dentists and everything in-between, the Shop Durham Card rewards you for discovering new local businesses and we bet you’ll find your new favorite place in there.

Our Mission

  • Increase public awareness of the benefits of local businesses through campaigns including Buy Local Month and Eat Local Month.
  • Promote a level playing field through economic development practices that support our homegrown businesses.
  • Strengthen ‘Local Preference’ policies to encourage municipalities and institutions to award contracts to local businesses 
  • Educate citizens, media, and policymakers on the civic, economic and environmental benefits of supporting locally-headquartered businesses.
  • Help businesses implement triple bottom line models of peopleplanet, and profit.
  • Address workforce hiring and retention issues through education on supportive worker policies and other ‘high road’ business best practices.
  • Encourage local developers to proactively incorporate space that is “right-sized” and affordable for local businesses in commercial development. 
  • Advocate for land-use planning, zoning, and policy to help local businesses thrive including: bike, transit, and pedestrian-oriented improvements; street and façade improvements; and affordable housing/commercial space.
  • Grow the presence of ‘Formula Business’ districts to ensure our communities are aesthetically unique and economically diverse, while preventing homogenization by chain businesses.

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.


Our Team

Katelyn Belch

Katelyn Belch

Founder & Program Director
Most days, you'll find me chasing our toddler around, snapping photos of my favorite spots around Durham. I hope you enjoy the Shop Durham card and discover something about the city that is new to you.
Tony Belch

Tony Belch

Operations Director
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. 
Andy Hemric

Andy Hemric

Partnership Director