September Chamber Chat

Whew! August and September really flew by as this Event Coordinator stayed really busy working out details concerning the 8th Annual Berrien County Home Grown Harvest Festival! So much so that I skipped my monthly Chamber Chat article. Now, that another Harvest Festival is over, it is time for me to turn my attention back to the Buy Berrien program and our sales tax revenues for the past two months.

As I have mentioned before, the local sales tax distributions published by the Georgia Department of Revenue is the only way we have to judge our sales tax revenues but with various sales tax paid by different businesses at different periods, the results may not always be accurate.

With school beginning in August, one would think that our local sales tax dollars would have shown an increase but that it is not the case. The LOST earnings in August fell below July. Does this mean that Berrien County citizens looking for school supplies went outside the county to purchase items needed or did we simply buy earlier in July? Good question but whatever the reason, our sales tax revenues were down.

Let’s take a look at the August, 2017 figures. LOST revenues for Alapaha were $3,675.52; Enigma – $3675.93; Nashville – $21,719.40; Ray City – $4,343.16 and Berrien County – $74,348.02. The total LOST revenues for all municipalities and the county were down $5,198.82 from the July LOST revenues. SPLOST revenues for the county were $107,762.45 and ELOST revenues were $109, 468.76.

September brought better sales tax revenues for Berrien County. I suspect these numbers are not totally adequate because sales tax revenues from the Harvest Festival vendors would not have been turned in since the festival was held on the last day of September. The preparations for Hurricane Irma may have increased sales of food, water and other necessities but the sales tax revenues did increase slightly.

LOST revenues for Alapaha were $3,894.26; Enigma – $3,894.24; Nashville – $23,011.71; Ray City – $4,601.99 and Berrien County – $78,792.33. According to these figures, the total LOST revenues increased $6,432.50 from August revenues.  SPLOST revenues for the county were $114,194.51 and ELOST revenues were $115,949.21 which also showed an increase.

I cannot end this article without saying a huge thank you to everyone who came out to support the 8th Annual Berrien County Home Grown Harvest Festival. It would be impossible to thank everyone that assisted with the 2017 Harvest Festival without leaving someone out. So thank you to everyone!

We tried to incorporate something for everyone in the Festival and I hope that we succeeded. One thing is for sure, you cannot make everyone happy but if we all work together, our Festival is going to continue to grow. The greatest feedback an event coordinator can receive is when existing businesses tell you that the Festival or any event had a positive impact on their business. I have received several such comments from local merchants in retail as well as the food industry. This is our number one goal – increasing the foot traffic to our local businesses as well as introducing visitors to our unique community. Another great thing about our Festival is the number of out-of-town visitors that chose to Celebrate the Harvest with us. Remember, out-of-town visitors are vital to our county. Let’s make a concerted effort to keep these visitors coming back time after time to our county!