“Shop Mansfield” Campaign Pays Dividends

Sales tax revenues are up during program to encourage residents to shop in Mansfield

Mansfield is one of the few places in North Texas where revenues from the local sale tax are still growing -- and the city wants to keep it that way.

The Tarrant County city is stepping up the "Shop Mansfield" campaign it first launched before the 2008 holidays, encouraging residents to spend their money at home by shopping locally.

"We started slowly during the holidays," said city spokeswoman Belinda Willis. "Now we want to do a full-blown campaign."

New store signs are popping up throughout the city with the message, "Shop Mansfield. It makes cents."

Revenue from the city's sales tax, currently 8.5 percent,  jumped from $7.5 million in 2003 to $14.5 million in 2008.

The latest figures from January show sales tax revenue is up 4.6 percent over last year. Sales tax revenues in December were up 9.2 percent over the previous year.

"These campaigns can be very effective," said Scott Welmaker, the city's economic development director. "I think part of it is just bringing awareness to the consumer that supporting your local merchants not only supports your economy but also supports bringing new businesses in."

Mansfield residents said they support the city's efforts to keep their money at home.

"I think its a great idea," Amy Clelland said. "We're looking forward to the new shops that will be coming out here on Broad Street. It's good to support your area where you live and work."

Greg Dillard, the owner of the Daily Grind coffeeshop, said "word of mouth is just excellent here in Mansfield."

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