Keep Local Alive organization expands nationwide

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 1:41 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An organization started here in the metro to help local businesses is expanding its reach.

“So the group started here, and then the group slowly started to grow and we decided, you know, let’s take KLA across America,” Bobby Johnson, one of the Keep Local Alive founders said.

The group, Keep Local Alive, has grown exponentially since it started in the middle of the pandemic.

“COVID has had an effect on a lot of different things in the community, a lot of different people, a lot of different - but one thing that was born out of it was this whole movement. It’s not going anywhere, this thing grows every single day,” Johnson said.

We first met Bobby Johnson and Traci Page last August, right here at Karma Koffee. Back then, Keep Local Alive was just a Facebook Group with a few thousand followers helping customers find a local business rather than a national chain.

Now things have changed.

“My co-founder and I, Dave Loveland, started out 2 months ago and we hit 68 cities in two months. Started it here in Omaha, NE and ending it here in Omaha, NE,” Johnson said beaming with pride.

Thousands of businesses nationwide are a part of the Keep Local Alive organization. Johnson and Loveland’s trip documented in photos, laid out on the map, sharing the stories of the people behind the pictures.

Page, the co-owner of Karma Koffee in Omaha, credits the KLA group for keeping her doors open during the pandemic.

“The impact this group has had is just insurmountable. And we could not have survived without Keep Local Alive. It’s been incredible,” Page said.

She’s excited for the new businesses around the country to feel that same boost. Johnson never expected his idea to grow in the way it has, but he’s excited to see where it continues on.

“This existed pre-COVID, it’s going to exist post-COVID. Just people need to be intentional about supporting local businesses and ban together and go make a difference,” Johnson said.

He does hope that KLA keeps expanding and supporting businesses in even more cities.

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