Edwards: Spending $20 could go far

Published 10:00 pm Monday, May 18, 2009

A $20 sale probably isn’t much to the average local business. But, a $20 sale from every Pike County shopper all on the same day would be a different story.

At least that’s what local economist and Troy University professor Judson Edwards said.

If all of the 21,893 county residents above the age of 19 went out on Wednesday, May 20 and spent $20, Edwards said sales totals would increase by about 60 percent just for that day.

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“You could about double your day’s totals,” Edwards said.

And, in an effort to stimulate the local economy and boost business morale, The Messenger is asking residents to do just that — spend $20 at a local business Wednesday, May 20.

“Of course it would have a big impact on the community,” Edwards said.

It would be an impact, in fact, that comes in the amount of around $437,800, more than half of the daily sales average, Edwards said.

With local schools and government benefiting directly from sales tax collected from these purchases, Edwards said a hike in sales would be lifting to more than just businesses.

“Of course for the businesses it would be beneficial. What’s concerning for a lot of people right now, from a city and school board perspective, is trying to capture as much expenditures locally as we can,” Edwards said. “We lose retail sales and tax collections to Dothan, Montgomery and Sikes and Kohns.”

And, even aside from economic boosts, Edwards said the program will build morale in economic downtimes.

“It’d be worth it just to have a day like this to show appreciation for local business,” Edwards said. “Make a small gesture to make sure we stay in business.”

Pike County Chamber of Commerce President Jenniffer Barner said she encourages all county residents to participate in this promotion.

“I would say the store owners appreciate business at anytime, no matter what the amount,” Barner said. “Even is someone spends $5 that means that the customer knows about his business and next time the customer comes in he may spend $100. And, if the experience was a good one for the customer, he will tell people, and that would bring in even more.”

Residents can find coupons from local businesses looking for people to spend $20 on the 20th in Wednesday’s edition of The Messenger.