Visit the new Buy the Way Keep it Local website at www.buythewayama.com
“Just before Thanksgiving 2017, the City of Amarillo, along with the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, announced the Buy the Way—Keep it Local campaign. In a world of advancing technology and online conveniences, sales tax collections have been declining. Buying locally is "the way" we empower our entrepreneurs, support our local economy, create and keep local jobs, and keep taxes low while providing a better quality of life,” Elaine Hays, Amarillo City Council, Place 1.
The Chamber has been a long-time advocate of promoting a culture of shopping locally. More than 1700 members provide products and services in practically every type of category, so more often than not, you can find what you are looking for right here in Amarillo. We know that it is sometimes easier to click and buy from the big companies like Amazon online, but the money that leaves Amarillo with those purchases isn’t turned over or recirculated in our city. It doesn’t help with the local business owner who is providing jobs, or the workers in those companies that are putting food on the tables of their homes, gas in their car, eating out in local restaurants, or sponsoring a child’s soccer team. It is essential to the success and growth of our local businesses if we try to keep more of those dollars in our own community. We know that it isn’t practical to expect people to never shop online. But we would like to raise awareness of the importance of what dollars spent locally do to increase local sales tax money that helps fund vital services like city parks, fire, and police personnel while not raising local property taxes.
In the City’s recent presentation, one illustration (shown below) explained that if each of the 79,000 households in the city limits would simply shift spending and spend $100 locally that they would have spent online, the city’s portion of sales tax revenue generated would cover the cost of salary and benefits of one more police officer. If locals spent $250 locally instead of online, the multiplier could account for up to 4 new police officers or approximately $296,250 in sales tax new revenue. Police officer salaries are just one example of possible uses of increased sales tax revenue.
You can view the entire press conference video on the Chamber's Facebook page or by clicking on http://bit.ly/BuyTheWayKeepItLocal. The PDF of graph below and other handouts from the announcement can be viewed at http://bit.ly/BuyTheWayDetails.
“During this holiday season, take the time to consider if you can buy that perfect gift or supplies for your business locally. Remember, increasing our local shopping even by small increments ultimately benefits us all,” Councilwoman Hays said.