Shop Hartselle First campaign underwayPublished 3:48pm Tuesday, July 23, 2013
A community awareness campaign pointing out the consequences of not shopping in Hartselle has been launched by Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce.
The message of the campaign is being sent to Hartselle Enquirer readers this week in the form of an insert with a heading of “Why Shop Local?” Four billboards located in the city, storefront placards, green window, door and car decals, yard signs and the website ShopHartselleFirst.com are also being used to get the message across.
Former Mayor Dwight Tankersley is heading up the campaign as chairman of the chamber’s business development and retail enhancement committee.
“Shopping at home was at the forefront of my thoughts when I served as mayor because more than 50 percent of the city’s revenue comes from sales tax and business privilege licenses,” Tankersley pointed out. “But it was one of our local businessmen, Jim Corum, who inspired me to try a new approach at spreading the trade at home message. He asked me, ‘What can we do to get people to understand the consequences of not shopping in Hartselle?’ In answer to his question I visited several of our retail stores and copied prices of their merchandise. Then I referenced demographic information from the 2010 U. S. census and combined the two to come with some interesting results.
“For example, if every family in Hartselle buys a meal at a restaurant outside of the city five times the lost tax revenue to the city is equal to the salary of a police officer.”
Other examples using the purchases of gifts, flowers, bread and milk outside the city show equally alarming consequences.
“When you spend money locally you are not only contributing to the services the city provides its citizens but supporting the businesses that are called on often to support the extracurricular activities of schools, churches and other community-minded organizations,” Tankersley pointed out.
Susan Hines, chamber president, reminded business owners they can support the Shop Hartselle First campaign by placing signs in their windows, offering discounts to shoppers wearing green “Shop Hartselle First” armbands or claiming a free page on the ShopHartselleFirst.com website to advertise their businesses.