August 15, 2007 Edition

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Chamber, local businesses
need all our support

Sherry Moore
Guest Writer

Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. That is what we are. You have read several articles in the past few months from my colleagues explaining what we are and how we need you to be involved. I may repeat some of what they have said, but what I will most certainly do is pour out my heart concerning the need for all of us to promote our county any time and in any way possible.

We need new chamber members, but we also need current members to take on more responsibilities and leadership roles. This has all been said before, so I am merely re-emphasizing.

Everyone thinks the Chamber needs to help bring in more industry and/or businesses. I’m not even going to address how difficult that is. We want to help current businesses in any way possible. Our new website, which will be up and running soon, should be a tool for accomplishing that. Gretchen Hunt will be talking about that in detail in a later column. But, the way we can all help is by patronizing existing businesses.

I remember numerous “shop at home” campaigns in the past when my mother was working at Robert’s Shoe Store on Main Street. But that was then, and this is now. Most of the Main Street stores are gone. The Main Street Arkansas project is one, which I hope will rejuvenate that area. However, there are still places in the county where we can shop, including numerous service oriented businesses.

I consciously try to do most of my spending here in the county. I travel a great deal on my job and have come home with the gas gauge flashing “low fuel” (sorry, Mom) in order to wait to buy gas at home. Now, I don’t recommend that you take such chances, but there are less drastic measures we can use.

Granted, in this age of internet shopping, sometimes it is easier to buy online, but please consider buying in Lawrence County whenever you can. The health and auto insurance companies want us to buy from certain suppliers and provide some good financial incentives in that direction, but these automated lines have never said to me, “Hi, Mrs. Moore, how are you today, or how is Phillip or Mica (my grown children, for those of you who don’t know me). That personal touch means a great deal, and those young people have jobs locally because a hometown person chose to be in business here.

I was born in what was then Faircloth’s Clinic, spent 12 years attending Hoxie school and raised my children here. My 28-year teaching career was spent in three of the county schools: Sloan-Hendrix, Hoxie and Walnut Ridge. I’ve worked in Little Rock and stayed for extended periods of time in Conway, giving me the opportunity to “shop around,” but I’d rather be right here!

I love to travel, but a visit is enough for me. I want to live in Lawrence County. And my shopping experiences are much more fulfilling in my hometown. Sometimes it takes longer, because I invariably run into people to talk to. It becomes a bonus social activity. As a teacher of multiple generations, I love to see former students who are working in the local businesses. There are far too few of them.

Our goal is to provide more opportunities here in Lawrence County. Shopping at home is a good place to start to boost the local economy and one that can be done anywhere in the county, by people from all socio-economic groups and by all ages. If you support any business in the county, you are helping the whole county. So join us at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and help our county businesses prosper and grow.

For more information on how you can become a chamber member, or to volunteer to work on a committee or project, call Kathy Bradley, Chamber administrative assistant, at 886-3232, or e-mail her at: lawrencecofc@suddenlinkmail.com

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