NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Downtown business owner, Karen Harris always encourages customers to shop locally, but this year the message takes on a sense of urgency. All the Christmas items she has in her store were bought back in January. A lot has happened over a year. "The economy didn't take the drastic turn until a few months ago, so we're just now seeing a little bit of that. However, we are optimistic about the Christmas selling season, said Harris. But optimism can get you just so far.
"I believe in Nacogdoches," said promoters of a new marketing campaign introduced by the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce. It's called 'Shop Nac First'. Mayor Roger Van Horn talked about how nice it is to shop from someone you know. "Where is a better place to spend your money than with a good friend?"
The campaign is designed to keep businesses open, attract new retail interest and provide convenience to shoppers. Main Street director Sarah O'Brien wants people to know, "We've got extended shopping hours. Shop late until eight the First Friday night of each month. We're doing that on December 5, so bring your Christmas list. Start checking those items off. "
The bigger picture is to create a turnaround in sales tax revenue, something that city manager Jim Jeffers knows how to spin in the right direction. "The sales tax last month was down 10%, but there was a 5% adjustment from previous months, so right now Nacogdoches is following the statewide trends. We're hopeful and confident that the Shop Nac First campaign can help to improve on those trends."
Retailers know times are tough and may get tougher, but they also believe, "They're not going to cancel Christmas. It will be here year after year and people love to spend and give to others, so we're excited about it. We can't wait," said Harris.