Keep It Local: How Shopping Local Helps Amarillo

"Buy the Way Keep It Local"

AMARILLO - As we approach one of the busiest shopping days of the year, the City of Amarillo and the Chamber of Commerce are teaming together to emphasize the importance of shopping local.

The city, after all, heavily depends on sales taxes.

The collaboration comes at a time when Americans will be doing a lot of shopping.

It's called "Buy the Way Keep It Local."

The chamber of commerce always urges residents to shop our local businesses but now the city is joining in.

At a press conference Tuesday, officials showed everyone the impact that online shopping is having on local sales taxes.

According to their data, the city loses tens of millions of dollars in so-called leakage,  the money that is leaking from our region to an online business elsewhere that does not pay taxes.

Councilwoman Elaine Hays puts that loss of money in terms of what it is costing us.

"If families are $79,000 households redirected even small incremental amounts of $100 that would translate into one new officer. $250 is four new officers," said Hays.

Hays added brick and mortar businesses are not fighting a losing battle but it is an uphill fight.

She said the city is also working to take advantage of technology to make it easier for locals to keep their money here, and that they are going to find a way to compete with online retailers in their own court.

One example of the leakage Councilwoman Hays talked about is the loss to clothing stores.

She says nearly $70 million leaked from Amarillo's economy to online retailers.


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