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Try Here Buy Here remains an emphasis
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Warren County merchants want consumers to keep trying here and buying here.
That’s what Foodland Plus owner Dennis Lann and Southern Standard representative Sharon Patrick told members of the county’s Economic and Agriculture Development Committee last week.
“As small business people, we are struggling in this day and age to survive,” said Lann. “We want everyone to continue to shop in Warren County and keep tax dollars here. People in our group seemed to see an increase in revenue during November and December. We will see the exact sales tax results next month. I know the mall saw a significant increase during that time. We are still in the infant stage or the crawling stage in this campaign.”
“We addressed the School Board in order to educate teachers and make them understand that sales tax is what pays their salary,” Lann continued. “Director of Schools Bobby Cox jumped on board. He is a huge advocate of this.”
Added Patrick, “When someone wakes up on a Saturday and says, ‘Hey, I’m going to shop in Murfreesboro all day long,’ are they thinking, ‘I’m shopping out of town so I can build better schools in Rutherford County?’ Try here and buy here. If Dennis doesn’t have what you are looking for, he will try to get it or can tell you where you can get it here in town.”
The Standard and Foodland Plus were two area businesses that spearheaded the Try Here Buy Here campaign. The campaign was more than a holiday promotion to encourage people to do their Christmas shopping in Warren County. It’s viewed as a continual effort to get residents to shop locally so our sales tax dollars will help our community.
Lann said, “This campaign has made us better merchandisers. Pam Wilson at All-O-K’sions has more  than just flowers. Stop in and take a look at what she has to offer. Teresa Barrett at Sears will get another truck in just a couple of days if what you’re looking for isn’t in stock. Before you know it, $20 here and $100 there adds up. If you drive out of the county, it will take more gas and more time. Is your time worth anything?”
Commissioner George Smartt said, “Usually when people shop out of town, they eat and find something else to do and that $50 shopping trip turns into a $150 shopping trip.”
Lann said, “I know people like to eat at different restaurants. Places like Cheddar’s will look at tax revenue. If we spend more money here, and more tax is collected here, maybe they will decide to locate here. Maybe Abercrombie will decide to locate in McMinnville. If we are willing to invest more in our community, then maybe these establishments will opt to locate here.”
Commissioner Les Trotman said, “I want people to think about when they buy a car from outside the county. If you decide to buy a car outside the county, please make sure the tag comes from Warren County.”
Commissioner Blaine Wilcher said Main Street McMinnville and the Middle Tennessee Milers Club, of which he is a member, recently purchased a trailer to haul the club’s timers, tables, coolers, chairs, signs, etc. The trailer was bought from McMinnville Trailer Sales.
“I wanted the money to stay in the county,” said Wilcher.
Patrick said, “That is an example of why we need a project like this. Everyone hasn’t always made a conscious decision of where to spend their money.”