Amarillo residents urged to shop local

Amarillo residents urged to shop local

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo residents are being urged to shop local by the city council and  Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, especially with the holiday season approaching.

That's in part because one of the biggest sources of revenue for the city is sales tax.

When people shop online instead of visiting local businesses, the city loses that sales tax, and has to find other funding for things like street repairs and public safety.

It could be putting locals out of business.

Billy and Janey Morgan have owned their own businesses in Amarillo for decades.

Billy has owned Sound Systems Ltd. for 40 years, and Janey has owned Janey's at 2500 for 32 years.

They said they're lucky to have loyal customers who shop with them instead of online.

But they are concerned for other businesses.

"It takes half the number of people to run an internet business than it does to run a brick and mortar," said Janey. "So when you go online and you hit "click" or "enter now" or "add to cart" or any of that, you could be potentially putting one of your friends out of a job."

She and Billy are also concerned about the future of the city.

"Shopping local, it keeps the money local," said Billy. "It helps keep our property taxes low. It helps fix the roads and the truck holes that people like to complain about. It keeps the grass mowed. So you kind of have to do things like that to help the city."

The Morgans said they are thrilled the Chamber of Commerce and Amarillo City Council are working on a big push for shopping local.

"You want to support your local businesses," said Gary Molberg, President & CEO of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce. "With an increase in online purchases, that takes money away from local business. Those are taxpayers. When you shop local...we get an increase in sales tax. An increase in sales tax helps fund things we need here in our city."

Molberg said his team and the city council will be working to develop a new plan to promote shopping local, and hope to have that ready by the start of next year.

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