‘Shop Rome First’ holiday effort helps give back to community
ROME — For more than 20 years, the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce has been encouraging local residents to stick close to home when it comes to holiday shopping, reminding the public about the crucial importance of supporting local businesses.
Back in 2001, a local Zogby International of Utica poll convinced the chamber’s Retail Promotion Committee to develop an aggressive “Shop Rome First” campaign, said William K. Guglielmo, president of the Rome Chamber.
Since then, the regional holiday promotion, supported by local business and sponsors has included thousands of dollars worth of contest prizes, a themed Treasure Hunt, and discounts during November and December.
More importantly, the spending at Rome retailers has helped to preserve and grow jobs in the community, said Guglielmo.
“Employees of Rome retailers who live and shop in Rome add to the economic stability of Rome,” the chamber president said. “Sales tax receipts collected by businesses are used to fund the local government which, in turn, lessens the likelihood of property tax increases.”
Shopping in Rome first for products and services before considering any other sources is important because, when practiced, area residents encourage job growth, generate sales tax revenue, and build the city’s tax base, the chamber president said.
“A vibrant, healthy business community is also necessary to fund the increasing costs of public education,” Guglielmo added. “Thanks in part to the Shop Rome First campaign, December sales tax revenue in Rome increased steadily for years while the chamber was administering the program.”
Although the chamber is no longer awarding prizes and discounts as part of the promotion, it continues to reinforce the importance of shopping locally.
Reasons to Shop Rome First during the holidays and year-round:
Find all the businesses that are Rome Chamber members in the directory at http://www.romechamber.com/list/.
When you Shop Rome First, you can help save jobs.
When you Shop Rome First you are helping to save existing jobs and create new jobs for services, suppliers, and stores.
Keep jobs here, and you will help to grow the community’s property tax base.
More local businesses, and more people, help keep property taxes down.
Businesses generously support local organizations and fundraising campaigns for good causes.
When shopping, the chamber reminds area residents to support local businesses because “they support you,” Guglielmo said.
“They invest in Rome’s future,” he said. “When you Shop Rome First, you help to keep property taxes manageable. Local sales tax dollars help the city and county pay what they need to pay without raising taxes. And, the purchases you make help to keep our city and county a safe place to live, work, and raise a family. So shop in Rome and keep sales taxes working where they belong – for you, in your community.”
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