Merchants: Shop at home

Published 5:49 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2011

As many as 19 merchants are planning a special event Thursday to kick off the holiday shopping season — and they hope to keep as many shopping dollars in the Brewton area as possible.
Clay Lisenby, organizer of the event, said the kick off is an effort by merchants to keep precious dollars at home during the upcoming holiday season.
“We wanted to let the people of Brewton know what we have to offer right here at home,” Lisenby said. “By having this kick off ahead of the holiday season, we hope to bring people out to shop at home now and throughout the season.”
The Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event will get underway throughout the retail area at 4 p.m. Thursday with many merchants remaining open for business until 8 p.m.
Chamber Executive Director Judy Crane said the annual event is aimed at keeping shoppers informed about offerings in the community and keep businesses humming.
“We wanted to do what we could to get people to spend their money locally,” Crane said. “The merchants are going all out to get folks to shop at home by offering discounts, special deals and lots of extras. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be downtown during the event.”
Those dollars spent at home do more than put money in the till of the merchants, Crane said.
“The tax dollars generated from sales locally go right back into the city’s services,” Crane said. “The local retailers are the backbone of our community. Not only do the tax revenues help provided city services, those businesses also employee our residents.”
As part of his “country boy stimulus package” nearly two years ago, Danny Cottrell used the gift of cash to teach lessons in local economics.
Cottrell said he wanted to give students a simple lesson in the importance of local sales tax dollars — which help fuel everything from school budgets to city services, as well as help local merchants pay their employees and pay for their own needs.
In his brief economics lesson for the students at W.S. Neal and T.R. Miller high schools, Cottrell referred to statistics from the Alabama Retail Association to help illustrate how money spent locally continues to turn over in the economy.
The most obvious benefit is often the tax revenue received — $1 out of every $100 goes to schools, $1 to the county, $3 goes to the city, and $4 goes to the state. That money helps pay for local services.
“Money spent at home helps home folks in many ways,” Lisenby said. “We want to stress the importance of supporting local businesses, not only during the holidays, but every day of the year. By supporting those businesses everyone benefits.”
Participating merchants include Antigone’s, Bonehead Boots, Badcock & More, Changing Seasons, Chicago Hair Design, Hang N’ Gab, Jus Do, L House Photography, McMillan Wingate, MeMe Lampwork Beads, NDI Cracked Pot, Scentsy Wickless Candles, Southern Heirlooms, Stevie Ward at Billy’s Barber Shop, Tea Party Boutique at Milligan’s, Thou Art, Three Cute Mama’s at Changing Seasons, The Treasure Chest, Weaver’s and Shakes of Gray Boutique and Walgreen’s. Entertainment will be provided by Brewton Dance Studio students with food available from Pig Daddy’s Barbecue along the Boardwalk.

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