Northwest Harris County residents can now stay updated on community events, browse local businesses, and request county services all in one location with the Discover Northwest Houston app.
“The idea is to have a one-stop shop, where community members can download the app and receive information specific to their area,” says Barbara Thomason, president of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce.
The recently launched app, developed by Bar-Z Mobile Development, will serve the Spring, Klein, and Cypress Creek communities. App users will be able to access a database of restaurants, stores, nonprofits, and other local organizations and service providers. All area businesses are invited to add a listing to the app, not just chamber members.
A major portion of the app will be dedicated to Precinct 4. The Precinct 4 portal, which Thomason describes as an app within an app, will allow residents to sign up for county alerts and access county services.
Creating an Identity
The app is just one of many ways the chamber serves the community. For years, the chamber has worked to improve the area’s economic climate by improving the surrounding community.
One of the chamber’s long-term goals is to establish an identity for the Cypress Creek community through branding, community signage, events such as the Paddle N Pedal Fest, and now a community app. Although Thomason contemplated creating a community app for years, Hurricane Harvey inspired her to act.
“We are a unique community, so we were looking for something that would fit our needs,” Thomason says. “It became clear after Harvey that we needed a way to connect our community.”
As frantic phone calls came pouring in during the storm, Thomason’s resolve to create the app solidified.
“All the surrounding local agencies were putting out valuable information, but people weren’t going to all those places,” she says. “We were getting a lot of phone calls, and they were not from our members. A few were from businesses, but most of them were citizens looking for answers.”
Not long after the storm, the chamber arranged a meeting with Bar-Z Mobile Development. Thomason says she was particularly impressed by similar apps Bar-Z created for other Texas communities, such as Granville, Deer Park, Midland, and Odessa.
“Granville is a fairly small community, but they have lots of downloads,” Thomason says. “The reach for the app in that community is amazing.”
Eventually, Thomason says she hopes the Discover Northwest Houston app will have a similar impact. As the number of users grows, the chamber will partner with additional local agencies to offer even more services through the app, she says.
“As a chamber of commerce, our audience isn’t just businesses anymore; it’s the community,” she says. “We’re thinking differently now and seeing results.”
Anyone with an Apple or Android device who would like to download the free app can search ‘Discover Northwest Houston’ in the App Store or Google Play.