BUY LO­CAL

The Covington News - - Front page -

County re­ceives $1 bil­lion more in re­tail sales than New­ton County, at $1.78 bil­lion com­pared to $755 mil­lion.

Lisa Oglesby, the Cham­ber’s Di­rec­tor of Pro­grams, said busi­nesses look at those spending num­bers and fol­low the money.

Cham­ber Pres­i­dent John Boothby said if res­i­dents say they don’t have any choices in New­ton County and then shop else­where, they won’t ever get those choices here, be­cause busi­nesses won’t come.

“We can’t guar­an­tee you will have more choices if you buy lo­cal, but we can as­sure you that if you don’t, you won’t have choices in the fu­ture,” Boothby said.

While busi­ness of­fi­cials agree that some things can’t be pur­chased in New­ton County, many prod­ucts can. Res­i­dents can choose where to buy their gas, gro­ceries and clothes, and lo­cal of­fi­cials want to con­vince more res­i­dents to choose New­ton County.

“We re­al­ize

it’s

a choice. Peo­ple can choose to go over the county line and they may have to, but they can choose to shop here and sup­port lo­cal busi­nesses,” said SBC Chair Gena McLen­don, of Mer­ry­vale As­sisted Liv­ing. “We need to be very in­ten­tional about buy­ing lo­cal when we’re shop­ping.”

The lack of spending in New­ton County not only dis­cour­ages busi­nesses from lo­cat­ing here, but also in­creases un­em­ploy­ment and hurts lo­cal gov­ern­ments.

County Chair­man Kathy Mor­gan agreed that the ex­tra rev­enue is an im­por­tant fac­tor in de­ter­min­ing the county’s yearly bud­get, and that ex­tra money can help pay for build­ings, recre­ation ser­vices and schools.

She said that when na­tional chains are looking at com­mu­ni­ties, they make their de­ci­sion based on how much money res­i­dents have and where they spend. Oglesby said right now busi­nesses are see­ing that New­ton County res­i­dents are will­ing to drive else­where, so those busi­nesses are lo­cat­ing else­where.

Por­terdale

Mayor Bobby Hamby, a for­mer small busi­ness owner, said that in ad­di­tion to the big chains, res­i­dents should re­mem­ber the lo­cal mom-and-pop stores. He said peo­ple of­ten say prod­ucts cost more at smaller shops, but in many cases those prod­ucts are cheaper and higher qual­ity.

In or­der to get the word out about the ben­e­fits of buy­ing lo­cal, the SBC is go­ing to be send­ing out brochures and hand­outs, at­tend­ing lo­cal events and talk­ing to peo­ple in per­son and putting pro­grams on lo­cal TV and on YouTube.com. The com­mit­tee has even cre­ated its own Web site: buy­lo­cal­new­ton.com.

McLen­don said SBC of­fi­cials will be out and about in the com­mu­nity and would be at­tend­ing the busi­ness expo and Fuzz Run on the week­end of Sept. 11 and were plan­ning on be­ing at the mid-Novem­ber Twi­light shop­ping events.

Sev­eral lo­cal busi­ness and gov­ern­ments have do­nated thou­sands of dol­lars and hours to make the Buy Lo­cal cam­paign a re­al­ity and they’re hop­ing New­ton County cit­i­zens will be will­ing to give back.

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