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Spend $22 on Dec. 22

In the city of Russellville, people are encouraged to finish their holiday gift-buying by shopping local. To urge the community to support Russellville businesses, Mayor David Grissom made a proclamation calling shoppers to spend $22 Thursday for “Spend $22 in Russellville Day,” with the dollar amount selected to coordinate memorably with the day of the month.

Grissom said the campaign is based off a Franklin County Chamber of Commerce initiative that used to urge people to spend $20 Dec. 20. It’s a promotion he reintroduced last year as part of a concerted effort to encourage people to shop at home.

“It’s just an effort to try and encourage people to shop here. Research shows it could increase the local economy by as much as 60 percent, encouraging people to do this,” Grissom said. He said while it isn’t easy to track the promotion’s effectiveness in 2015, he knows people took notice, and he is confident it made a difference. “Some of our local business owners thanked us for doing the campaign because people came into their stores and mentioned that they read about it in the paper or got a letter from school or the chamber,” Grissom said. “It was a positive impact.”

As part of the proclamation, Grissom coordinated with RCS Superintendent Heath Grimes and Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Director Cassie Medley to spread the word, as he did last year.

Franklin County Commissioner Jason Miller said he thinks the campaign is positive for the city of Russellville and highlighted the way local sales tax benefits not only the city but also Franklin County as a whole, in each of its departments. “It’s keeping our tax dollars here at home,” he said.

Grissom added, “People don’t realize how important it is to spend every possible dollar they can here in Russellville and Franklin County … Any opportunity people have to purchase here locally makes a huge difference in the services we can provide as a city and as a county.”

Grissom said last year some local businesses held special sales in honor of the day. As a local business owner himself, Miller said he plans to do that as well, offering $22 off the total purchase price on sales Dec. 22 at Miller’s Affordable Furniture.

“It’s hard for a local business person to survive in today’s economy,” said Grissom, who also speaks from a place of experience, as a businessman. “With all the Internet availability, people shopping online, and all the competition … If you can buy it here from our local businesspeople, we need to encourage people to do that.”