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November 16, 2013

New campaign encourages local shopping

Ada —      As the video clip opens, Ada residents are shown munching doughnuts and proclaiming their love of the snack.

     The clip also shows footage of police cars, along with a voice saying that the sales tax from 1.9  million doughnuts would cover a policeman’s salary for a year.

     The clip ends with a police officer thanking viewers, then the slogan “Better our community. Shop Ada.”

     Officials at the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce and the Ada Jobs Foundation are hoping the clip, and other videos with a similar message, will convince Ada residents to patronize local stores.

     The Chamber and the Jobs Foundation are teaming up for a promotional campaign which relies on newspaper ads and social media to spread the word about shopping locally. The campaign started Sunday and will continue for the next three or four weeks.

     “Ultimately, we want people to understand why it’s important to shop local because you don’t always think about it before you go somewhere else,” said Sarah Jane Johnson, senior vice president of the Chamber.

     The campaign focuses on the concept that sales tax revenue is one of the cornerstones of the city’s budget. The video clips, which tell viewers how much sales tax it takes to cover a  policeman’s or a firefighter’s annual salary, are designed to remind shoppers of that fact.

     Sales tax dollars boost Ada’s budget, making it possible to fund city services like the Ada Fire Department or the Ada Police Department. Those dollars also help the city finance street repairs, park improvements and other public projects.

     Chamber CEO Mike Southard said Ada residents spend roughly 25 percent of their disposable income on shopping in other cities — a number known as leakage. He said if Adans reduced out-of-town spending by about 10 percent, the city would reap the benefit of more sales tax dollars for various projects.

     “In August, the Oklahoma Tax Commission collected $1.2 million in sales tax on behalf of Ada,” Southard said. “If we were able to reduce leakage from 25 to 15 percent, that would have been an additional $200,000 in sales tax generated for that month alone.

     “That’s $2.4 million for the year, so that’s $2.4 million that could go toward better roads, new parks, police cars, fire trucks  — the services that people are asking for.”

     Johnson said the campaign encourages people to check out local stores before heading out of town for a shopping trip.

     “There’s always going to be going out of town,” she said. “You are going to have a shopping trip where it’s an event and you take your family, or you go shopping with your friends. And that’s understandable.

     “All we’re asking is for people to think when you can get something local here, to think twice before they decide to go somewhere else to get it.”

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