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Hartselle Enquirer

Where’s the golden egg?

Remember the time when you could buy a Coke float at a soda fountain or shop at the clothing stores until dark in Downtown Hartselle on summer Saturdays?

Unfortunately, all we have left are the memories. The grand ole business establishments of the town’s pioneer families eventually gave way to the competition of mass merchandising and big box retail outlets. As a growth-oriented community, new and innovative approaches were taken to offset the losses. Remarkably, the central business district survived in one piece and quality of life flourished with excellent schools, churches, recreation and low crime rate.

It’s not that the battle to stay on top is finished. The Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Hartselle continue to take bold steps to grow business and industry and promote home trade.

A few years ago, they teamed up to set the record straight about what it means to the city’s economy when its residents spend discretionary income with retail businesses located outside of Hartselle.

Some of their through-provoking findings follow:

•If every family in Hartselle buys a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk outside of the city every week for a year, the lost tax revenue is equal to the annual salary of a police officer or firefighter.

•If every family in Hartselle buys a 12-pack of soft drinks outside of the city for a year, the lost tax revenue is equal to the salary of a public works employee or and a parks and recreation employee. These are some statistics that should make us stop and think about what it costs our city when we spend our tax dollars somewhere else: •If every family buys an adult meal at a restaurant outside of Hartselle five times in a year, the lost revenue to Hartselle would be equal to the salary of a police officer.

•If every family buys a tank of gasoline outside of the city for every month for a year, the lost revenue is equivalent to the cost of resurfacing a mile of a city street.

The above illustrations make it easy to see how quickly tax revenue accrues to Hartselle’s account when our discretionary dollars are being spent at home. There is not a fail proof way to ensure that all discretionary income in Hartselle is spent in Hartselle. However, if we develop a positive attitude about “Shop Hartselle First,” the golden eggs will follow.”

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