by Helen Neuharth, President/CEO, Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce
We all need to be reminded the services we enjoy and expect in Casa Grande are supported by a portion of the city retail sales tax collected each time purchases are made within our city limits.
A portion of the retail tax comes back to the City of Casa Grande and is earmarked for fire, police, street maintenance and other essential services that have a bearing on our safety and quality of life. So, think about it. If you don’t buy locally, then we don’t see a return on those tax dollars.
Some consumers say “So what? It is easier to order online.”
Maybe it seems easier to order online but where is the follow-up if something goes wrong with your online purchase, and where is the vital face-to-face customer-service interaction? More importantly, none of the money you spend online is returned to our community.
Some consumers may say “I can’t get what I want in Casa Grande.” Really?
How hard have they looked? I was talking with a retail merchant the other day and they said someone came to their store with an item purchased in the Valley and said they made the purchase out-of-town because it was on sale.
Guess what? The very same item was available here in Casa Grande for even less than the sale price of the item. The consumer did research outside of the community, found an item on sale, drove to the Valley, made the purchase and all of the time it was available right here in Casa Grande!
Believe me, I know about the effects of shopping locally. I just returned from a visit to the town I grew up in and was very surprised to see the main street, as well as the newer mall, had fewer locally-owned stores.
One of the main reasons was attributed to online shopping. Of course, some of the responsibility does fall on business owners. They need to market, advertise, keep current inventory, provide good customer service and maintain business hours that accommodate shoppers who work during the week.
The blame doesn’t fall on any one consumer or business owner, and casting blame on online shopping won’t change until we, as full-time residents and winter residents, begin to pay more attention and learn more about the many shopping options and bargains we have right in our own front yard.
So, if you are an online shopper, or just do a little online shopping, please consider doing a little more research, and I hope we will all be more attuned to shopping locally beginning today and in the future.