New online directory puts focus on Heights businesses

We’re pleased to announce that the Observer has launched the only online business directory dedicated to Cleveland Heights and University Heights.

Offering listings from accountants to variety stores and everything in between, the directory is one more way the Observer facilitates the connection between residents and the businesses that serve them.

The directory is available through a link in the left-hand menu at, the Heights Observer website.

It has been launched in support of the new Heights Independent Business Alliance (HIBA), of which I’ve written before. HIBA was founded with urging from the Observer’s nonprofit owner, FutureHeights, to help keep local, independently owned businesses foremost in the minds of residents.

HIBA is a natural extension of the Observer’s “shop local” emphasis, which argues that the character of our community is based in part on the independent businesses that exist to serve us as residents. Further, compared with national chains, a much larger share of money spent with local independents actually stays in the community. By helping to keep these businesses strong, we keep the community strong, too.

To that end, the new directory is very much a work in progress. The technology behind it isn’t exactly next-generation. And the listings aren’t yet comprehensive–though they strive to be. Currently, most of the listings are for Cleveland Heights businesses, because that’s what was readily available to populate the database. But we know the list is not complete, and are looking to add any businesses that aren’t already included–including most of those in University Heights. Directions for adding a business are on the directory’s intro page.

Any business or organization in CH-UH is entitled to a free listing in this directory. But HIBA members are also highlighted with the HIBA shopping-bag logo, so you can easily identify the businesses that do the most to support the community.

Please take a look at the directory. It may help you find some resources you didn’t know about, and it might help you find a local alternative next time you go out to shop at a national chain store.

Bob Rosenbaum is a media consultant, and a former journalist and publishing executive. As chairman of the FutureHeights Observer committee, he writes this column to provide transparency and understanding about the Observer. Send questions to

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Volume 3, Issue 11, Posted 4:08 PM, 10.27.2010