May was an extremely busy month at the Chamber office. We kicked off our official Harvest Festival planning meeting with various representatives from across Berrien County and plans for the September 30th event are well underway. I know it seems that September 30 is a long way from now but from the view of the event coordinator it really is just around the corner. I will have future articles about our plans for the Festival but mark your calendars now! We received such positive feedback about last year’s Festival that we are very excited to make it even bigger than before.
With graduation in May, hopefully, our retail businesses saw an increase in shopping and dining as the Class of 2017 was honored with gifts and celebratory dinners. Now as we are midway through June, the trend for slower summer retail is upon us. With students out of school, many families are trying to squeeze summer vacations in before school starts back again. We really encourage you to “Buy Berrien” as much as possible and show our local merchants and restaurants love year round but especially during the slow retail periods.
For the past 3 years, we have tried to assist our businesses during this slow retail period with our Fantastic Friday promotion. For more information about this special event, please read the article in this week’s edition of The Berrien Press or give me a call at the Chamber at 686-5123! This will be a great way to help our retailers while possibly winning special prizes and as much as $100 per week in Berrien Bucks to our weekly grand prize winner. Fantastic Fridays will begin on July 7th so make plans to visit our local businesses throughout the month of July and enter to win.
Now, let’s take a look at our Sales Tax revenues for the month of May. LOST sales tax revenues for Alapaha were $3,675.63; Enigma – $3,675.85; City of Nashville – $21,659.81; Ray City – $4,343.48 and Berrien County – $74,411.06. Sales tax revenues were up slightly in Alapaha, Enigma and Nashville but slightly down in Ray City and down significantly in Berrien County. The SPLOST sales tax revenues were down as was the ELOST sales tax revenues.
Always remember the purchases you make out of town or online does nothing to help with our local sales tax collections. The government services that are provided to us depend on these sales tax collections! Let’s all try to remember to “Buy Berrien!”