Busy sidewalks all season

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 8, 1999

The Christmas Season is upon us and this was evidenced around town this week when the Mainstreet merchants of Greenville hosted their Busy Sidewalks celebration downtown.

Busy Sidewalks was a good name for this celebration because that is exactly what happened. Hundreds of community members showed their support to the merchants downtown and came out to shop and enjoy the beautiful Christmas decorations the entire town has spent the last couple of weeks bringing together.

Events like Busy Sidewalks are important to bring folks together to enjoy the holiday season. However, it doesn't take an event, of any kind, to make sure we do our best to shop at home during the holidays.

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The Christmas season tends to make people open up their wallets and share their good fortune with the people they love. And, while it is easy to go to a local grocer to buy the food for the holiday table, or the local hardware store for the tree stand or Christmas lights we need to decorate the home, it is not always as easy to shop locally for Christmas presents.

Malls and shops in Montgomery, Troy, Andalusia and places surrounding us on the map will be working overtime to get our shoppers in their area. But, staying at home, and keeping our money at home, will help make the season, and after the season, a lot brighter for all of us.

Tom McDougal, Administrator and CEO for L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital, wrote a guest column for The Advocate last week (The answer starts at home, page 11, Wednesday, Dec. 1), and some of the points he made were astounding.

For instance, Tom estimates that if Stabler Hospital could gain and additional 20 percent

market share (which currently rests at about 45 percent) then the hospital could add 75 new jobs, pay more than $2million in new salaries each year, and generate more than $14 million in new spending.

While it may not seem that visiting the local merchants can have as large an effect on our economy, each dollar spent at home is one that will change hands time and again, here at home, and allow our economy to replenish itself.

My many thanks to the community for supporting the Mainstreet merchants of Greenville. They are some really fine folks who work really hard to make sure we can find what we need here at home.

And, when you're around town this Saturday, make sure you come downtown for the traditional Christmas parade sponsored by the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce. I understand it is going to be a good one.

One final note. The Greenville Advocate unveiled a new web site this week. And, while a lot of its features are still in testing, it is live, active and interactive and provides just about everything you can find in the printed edition with some new surprises mixed in. Log on and check it out at www.greenvilleadvocate.com.