AUSTIN (KXAN) - "Shop local" is a slogan you see all around Austin. But some local business owners said it's easier said than done.
Now a group of successful local businesses are trying to pay it forward by presenting the Austin City Council with a proposal to make being a small business owner in town a lot easier.
Steven Bercu, owner of local bookstore BookPeople, said the current regulations make it difficult to own a small business.
"It's difficult just to operate businesses here because of this overlay of ordinances," said Bercu.
He said that is why he is working to even the playing field -- what he calls a difficult task considering the city offers millions of dollars in incentives to entice larger companies like Apple to town.
"As a local business, it kind of hurts your feelings," said Bercu. "It seems to me what the city is doing is deciding that they are going to favor that business for whatever reason."
Ten years ago Bercu decided to form the Austin Independent Business Alliance with nearly 20 other Austin businesses as a way to create a bigger voice for smaller companies.
They're asking the Austin City Council to cut the obstacles that stand in their way.
"They're steps that we as a city government can take and work on and put into place, so that we can all really have a better Austin," said Austin City Councilwoman Laura Morrison.
In Austin, 90 percent of people work for small businesses, and that is why Morgan Bennett said she constantly tries to support them.
"I prefer to shop locally; it makes me feel a little bit better about supporting the local economy," said Bennett.
If you spend $100 at a chain store, only $13 of that money would go to helping the local economy.
However, spending the same amount of money at a local store would equate to $45 going towards local economic impact.
"If you shop at locally owned businesses, 3 1/2 times as much money stays in the community as if you shop at chained businesses," said Bercu.
Bercu said these changes are crucial to keeping unique Austin businesses alive and thriving.
"What sets us apart from everywhere else is all of these places that are local that everyone knows are local that are from Austin and nowhere else," said Bercu. "That makes it interesting to come here as a visitor -- and especially interesting to live here as a resident."
After three months of sitting in the middle of Lady Bird Lake, the art installation known as the "Thirst Tree" is being taken down.
This Round Rock home has a holiday twist with an intense light display synced to the popular "Ylvis" song about the fox, only this time "The Grinch" is up to his old antics -- stealing the show and a couple of smiles here and there.
You've seen the light displays everywhere at this point, and this one comes from a home very familiar to being a bright night light.
Some parents have raised concerns that a lockdown drill at an Austin school surprised and unnecessarily scared children and teachers.
The Austin-Travis County 911 call system returned to normal operations Monday after experiencing a disruption for several hours.
Austin drivers may soon face a two and half hour drive to from downtown to Round Rock, at least according to some experts.