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The Sharp Edge

The Sharp Edge

Posted: Thursday, December 4, 2008 2:26 pm
By: By Tracy Sharp, WCP Managing Editor

During the next month as the Christmas holiday approaches, many of you are going to see literally dozens of events offered in the county. From Christmas Cantatas to Open Houses (much like the one this weekend in Martin) to old-fashioned holiday celebrations in each and every town in Weakley County. Hundreds of volunteers have given time and money to not only entertain our community, but also to keep local sales tax dollars here at home. This is important to remember expecially during these uncertain and troubling economic times. Sometimes I’m afraid that the mantra for the last few years of “Shop at Home” has become more of a cliche´ than the real meaning of what goes behind it being taken as seriously as it should. This is the time of the year that is make-it-or-break-it for many small businesses. As we have seen plants shut down and shops come and go, as consumers is it not easier to buy those special things for loved ones here in Weakley County. It was released on Wednesday that Tennessee sales tax growth rate could set a historic low this year. Although numbers have not been released thus far for Weakley County in this latest quarter, I can only make the assumption that as one of 95 counties, we are just about like everyone else. The early look at sales tax collections shrank by 7.7 percent in October according to state Finance Commissioner Dave Goetz. If you are like me, I don’t have any extra money in this economy. So many people saw their 401K and other pension plans thin out significantly when Wall Street and other world markets dropped in the last few weeks. It’s a time of tightening belts and for our local leaders to think outside the box on rebuilding the losses of plants/business have cost our area. But we also need to be responsible ourselves in trying to shop at home as much as possible. That is our responsibility as citizens of northwest Tennessee. The volunteers I talked of earlier in this column have a belief and passion that we can reinvent ourselves during these lean times. Events are scheduled for the entire family. Downtown businesses are brainstorming on how to utilize the newly renovated Lindell Street into an area where festivals can be held when spring returns, which ultimately will bring in sales tax revenues. There are other ideas floating around and feedback is welcome as it is something I hear talked about a great deal. And it starts with just one action. In the pages of this newspaper today, you will find interesting holiday events going on. From homemade cookies to horse and buggy rides, organizations are offering several things to do not only this weekend, but throughout the month. But this column is not about Christmas, it’s about community 12 months out of the year and keeping our county robust and vibrant, especially during this stressful economic time in our lives that will impact our children. Enjoy the holidays. Stop by the City-Wide Open House, check out St. Jude’s Christmas Bazaar, go hear the David Johnson Chorus sing, support the Carl Perkins Center by getting your picture made with Santa at Weldon Library and make new memories with your family. There is plenty to do this holiday season. It’s just a matter of choosing to be a part of it. WCP 12.04.08

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