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Help keep local economy solid; shop at home

By Staff
With all of the economic uncertainty that is facing the area in what is customarily a happy holiday season, there are things that local residents can do to help curb the impact of lost jobs at area plants.
The events of September 11 brought the community, the country and many parts of the world together as we all rallied to show our support for the people who died in the terrible and tragic horror that struck out country.
Still, our flags proudly wave along Main Street as we show our undaunted and undying spirit of resolve to overcome senseless acts of cowardice.
Now we must look at our storefronts, at our fellow citizens and at our economic base and wonder if we have the strength to survive what are bound to be lean and tough times ahead.
It is our belief that we do.
But making it happen will be something that is going to take a lot of effort locally, a lot of planning, dedication and strength. Most of all, it's going to take all of us working together.
Now the question: What can we do? Without jobs to offer those who are destined to face economic loss and looking at an economy that is showing lack-luster performance standards, how can we protect our community?
By preserving it. By fighting for its dignity. By helping those in crisis. And ultimately, by shopping at home.
Dollars spent in Atmore are more important now than ever before. Not only do those dollars guarantee funds to meet infrastructure demands, they serve to help keep local retailers in business as their customer base takes a large, short-term hit.
Atmore Mayor Howard Shell and the city are working to see to it that you get tax breaks from spending at home. It's a great idea and we encourage you to take advantage of it, should the city announce its final approval. Three percent can add up quickly on holiday purchases.
Remeber that local retailers are essential to our community. Besides offering jobs in an area that needs them, they pay taxes, they contribute to the spirit of community that is so strong here. They give our town something to offer, not just to local residents, but to those coming through and to those who may wish to come here and hang their hats.
Local retailers demonstrate economic prosperity and strength. Consider the feeling that comes with riding through a town and seeing boarded up storefronts. When this happens, whether incidental or part of a larger economic problem or just as an incidental event, communities lose out. They project weak health and economic hardship. They seem to be in economic decline. These aren't the places industry leaders want to live and raise families.
The like vibrant and strong markets. They like community spirit and pride.
We have that pride here. Now we must make use of it to work hard to save our local economy.
As you work toward finalizing your Christmas list, remember to shop at home whenever possible. Whether it's a few pennies, nickels or dollars, your money is an investment in Atmore. And right now, we need investors if we are to get through the trying days ahead.
We encourage you to wear your community pride on your sleeve.
We encourage you to shop at home and to project community spirit by intently encouraging others to do the same.
If we all join together and spend our dollars here, we can go a long way toward protecting ourselves, our children and our future.
The Chamber of Commerce is offering holiday gift certificates that can be spent with a number of local merchants. Consider these as gifts for someone special.