By Wendy Binns

How do you fit into this picture of KEEP IT INtown? This September issue kicks-off the new KEEP IT INtown campaign to support local business. How does this apply to you? Perhaps you are an owner or an employee of a local business. You could enjoy local arts, services and products. You might appreciate the environmental benefits and the economy it provides. You might recognize that there is a unique flavor, talent and story behind each business, which adds to the quality of life in your neighborhood. If any part of that sounds like you, we hope to hear from you.

Atlanta INtown isn’t big or corporate and we don’t have a big budget. What we do have are thousands of readers in print and online and a huge affinity for local business – a perfect setting to promote KEEP IT INtown. As we go into the fall and holiday season, we especially hope to encourage neighbors to choose local and shop local when they can.

A camera lens isn’t large enough to capture the entire local business scene, but the uber-talented Scott Lowden stepped in to help us capture a part of it. Scott was eager to work with us on this cover shoot because, like us, he believes in local. The photo encompasses a multi-faceted group and is intended to represent the diverse mix of talents and parts of Intown. You’ll see more testimonials in support as you flip through this issue and future issues. You can also hear from more people in our video online. We’d like to hear from you, too.

The cover photo is set in the Historic Fourth Ward Park, which is one of the first completed urban parks of the Atlanta BeltLine. Front and center in the blue shirt is Kwanza Hall who is Atlanta City Councilman for district 2 in which the park is located. Just over Kwanza’s right shoulder, is the Acting Executive Director of the Park Conservancy, Alisa Chambers. The local branded apparel and promotional product company, The Icebox, jumped on board to help the campaign with KEEP IT INtown decals you may have already started seeing in the windows of local storefronts. Please let me know if you’d like one or would like to help sponsor the next order of decals (we’re almost out!).

As a small business owner myself, I find what we do soul fulfilling. It’s motivating to hear feedback and offers to help with KEEP IT INtown. Please be in touch if you have an idea or contribution. This is an inclusive collaborative effort and the campaign can use your help. And, thank you for supporting our advertisers. They make all of INtown’s efforts possible.

Why KEEP IT INtown?
Please send your reason to

A few reasons from
• Environmental Impact is Reduced: Local businesses make more local purchases and require less transportation. This reduces urban sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
• Local Business Owners Invest in Community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community,
are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the city’s future.
• Customer Service is Better: Local businesses often hire people with more specific product or service expertise


Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.