Shopping at home good for community

Published 9:11 pm Saturday, July 22, 2017

Time flies when you’re having fun.

In a little more than two weeks, Vicksburg and Warren County students will be headed back to school.

Where has the summer gone?

Parents are beginning to turn their attention to getting their children ready for a return to the classroom.

Some parents probably aren’t ready for summer to end, thought I’m pretty sure some parents will be skipping down the aisles of stores as they buy back packs and school supplies, looking forward to seeing Junior mount the steps of that big yellow bus.

Regardless the sentiment, now’s the time to prepare, and the State of Mississippi will help in that effort by offering a tax-free shopping weekend come Friday and Saturday.

Granted, the tax savings are limited. Only clothing items valued individually at less than $100 are eligible. That’s better than nothing. When it comes to growing children, every little bit helps. However, other states in which I’ve lived, like Alabama, also include books, school supplies, even computers. The state loses some tax revenue, but the shopping weekend turns out to be a boon for retailers something akin to a second Black Friday.

A healthy retail sales environment means a healthy community. That’s certainly true here in Vicksburg. So many positive things happen when you spend your shopping dollars here at home.

We’re fortunate here. We have an abundance of small, locally owned businesses that provide unique selections. Regardless of what you seek, you’re very likely to find it right here. We have an obligation as citizens of this community to help businesses located here thrive. We can be proud of the many unique businesses our area offers, but we won’t keep them if we don’t patronize those businesses.

When you spend your money at a Vicksburg business, those dollars will likely stay right here at home and go to pay for the owners’ and the employees’ children’s soccer team fees or dancing lessons or new shoes.

Dollars you spend at Vicksburg businesses help pay the wages of people who live right here. The taxes go to provide improvements in our infrastructure, not the needs of some other community.

The dollars we spend here at home are much more likely to make their way right back to us.

Think of the hassle of driving out of town to shop. It takes additional time. You waste money on gasoline. And you fund other community’s tax revenues and needs, rather than our own.

When you hit the streets Friday and Saturday, shopping list in hand, please make an extra effort to make your purchases at a Vicksburg or Warren County business. Good things are happening in our community, and those things will only get better if we make the conscious decision to continue to support our thriving business community.
Jan Griffey is general manager of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at jan.griffey@vicksburgpost.com. Readers are invited to submit their opinions for publication.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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