Native or Not: resource for newcomers to the Huntsville area

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Moving to a new city can be overwhelming, and many people search online for where to go for what service. Ana Lewis is a Huntsville native who created a website to ease that process.

Native or Not connects people new to Huntsville to local businesses.

"This idea came out of my experience as a military spouse. When we were moving back, I realized I don't know if I'm a native or not. There have been so many incredible changes here, especially the local business scene," says Lewis.

Lewis says moving to a new town can be overwhelming.

"So I thought there needs to be a way to pull into town and directly connect with locally owned businesses that make up the personality and charm of our towns and communities," says Lewis.

Native or Not is a website with a registry of local businesses that offer ongoing military discounts and one-time newcomers natives discount.

"I knew I wanted to create something the whole community could benefit from whether it was someone like my parents who have been here for 40 years or someone who is brand new to town just to be able to easily connect with local businesses," says Lewis.

Lewis started Native or Not in Hartford County, Maryland while her husband was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Lewis says the ultimate goal is to create something duplicatable.

"To contract military spouses to do this in their communities," says Lewis.

She says Native or Not is the perfect way to create a connection in communities between local businesses, and individuals.

"When you're new to town, there's just a different feel when you walk into a local place," says Lewis.

Native or not is currently online and on social media, but Lewis has plans to make it into an app in the future.

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