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Stores prepare for big season

By Robert Hudson

The Selma Times-Journal


When residents of the county line up at local stores in the wee hours of the morning to get deals on the latest gifts and gadgets, they’ll not only be getting gifts to put a smile on the face of that special someone.

With Black Friday approaching and the holiday shopping season set to begin, cash spent at local stores will help give a boost to the city and county.

In fact, the holiday shopping season is one of the most important seasons for the area.

“It’s huge,” said Wayne Vardaman, executive director of the Selma-Dallas County Economic Development Authority. “It’s one of the biggest seasons of the year and it’s one of the biggest seasons for our retail. It means a lot and it’s real important. If it’s not a good season, it puts a lot of pressure on all of those entities.”

Vardaman said money spent within the county is revenue that in turn helps out the community.

“Any of the money spent becomes sales dollars, becomes taxed,” Vardaman said. “It adds to the coffers of the city and county and enable them to offer better services. It helps create jobs, it helps make the companies we’ve got here healthier and it creates revenue for the city and county.”

Sheryl Smedley, executive director for the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, echoed Vardaman’s sentiment that local shopping helps the community and local businesses, and said it’s something residents should keep in mind.

“The benefit of shopping local is that it keeps our local economy going,” Smedley said. “Local buying means more money in the local economy, so when people begin planning their Christmas purchases, that’s what they need to keep in mind.”

Smedley said data shows this year’s shopping season could be even bigger than the last.

“The national data is showing that the season will be bigger because the surveys that are being done show that people are hiring more part-time help this year than they did last year,” Smedley said.