East Texas group's mission is to "keep it local" - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

East Texas group's mission is to "keep it local"

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TYLER (KYTX) - A group of East Texans are taking action after watching restaurants shut down in their community.

They call themselves the "Keep it Local" group and that's exactly what they're doing every Tuesday night.

This may look like a group of old friends enjoying each other's company over good food.

But this group is about more than just a good time, they're at Villa Montez in Tyler to boost their profits.

"They're your neighbor and your friends, you're supporting your community," said Jennifer Cook.

Jennifer Cook and Marshall Hanna are two friends who were at Zaza's restaurant in Tyler on July 2nd.

"We found out that night that Zaza's was going to be closing down," said Marshall Hanna.

That's when they started talking....

 "Let's not have anymore local businesses close in Tyler, because we've had a rash of them lately, and we don't see that happen," said Cook.

So, they called and emailed their friends and started a facebook page in support of local businesses.

"I think a lot of times you get better quality, because a "mom and pop" actually wants to make sure you're well taken care of," said Hanna.

It's something the owner of Villa Montez appreciates.

"To see the community supporting ,you, the business owner, is a great thing," said Mundo Villiapudua.

Because, he says, it's not easy starting a business from scratch.

"We run our business off of word of mouth and if you can get behind the locals and the locals can get behind you...then that goes a long way," explained Villiapudua.

To learn more about the "Keep it Local" group, click here

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