The local business versus the national chain is one of the never ending conflicts in our economic system. But lately, local businesses have been able to even the playing field a little bit.
At Thelma's Chicken and Waffles, a local restaurant in downtown Roanoke, there is an emphasis on community that many places may not have.
"We're all one, so the food is really what brings the people in, the atmosphere, we're always telling people welcome to the family, welcome back," said Tiffany Harris.
But bringing people back can be tough when a budget is much smaller than a national chains. However, many local businesses have been utilizing social media to keep people coming through the doors.
And deals programs like Living Social and Groupon, on top of Facebook and Twitter, have been all the rage.
Robin Joyce of Plaza 101 in Roanoke has used Groupon and saw the merits of it for customers, especially since her business is relatively new.
"Giving them a discount is great in this economy. So if they can get a little discount and come in and try something new I think that's wonderful," said Joyce.
WDBJ7 Deals program
The WDBJ7 deals program kicked off Tuesday with the first deal at Thelma's Chicken and Waffles in downtown Roanoke. Those who signed up paid $10 and got a $20 gift certificate to the restaurant.
The WDBJ7 sales team says that this is a win-win for both consumers and businessowners.
"We know the consumers are going to benefit, they're going to get a great deal to a great place, and I know they're going to get a great experience, but what I want and what we want is to look at how businesses can really thrive through this as well," said Carissa Divant.
But it's not just restaurants offering deals. You can also get something for yourself, like spa deals or something for the family like Putt-Putt.
"There's lots of things that you can do to try to cut costs, but it's really not expensive for them to come here," said Scott Douglass.
It's not as expensive because the owner of Putt Putt Fun Center in Lynchburg, Joe Aboid, does his best to market himself to get people in the door and keep them happy by offering solid discounts. Aboid hopes offering even more discounts through WDBJ7 Deals will help him and his customers.