This is the time of the year merchants put on smiley faces for fall or pre-Christmas sales.

Usually that is, but not this year in Gardendale!

More going-out-of-business signs seem to spring up each week. As a merchant (of a mom and pop) family store, this concerns me.

As a Christian store owner, I am even more concerned when good “Christian” business owners leave our community. What messages are we sending? Are we selling our self short by not supporting local businesses? I think so.

Now that the new mall center is about to open in Fultondale, is there really a reason we must travel 20 to 30 miles to make our purchases? Surely all our needs, wants — and yes, desires — can be had while we support our local base.

And what’s in jeopardy? Police, fire, funds for school and public works all in some part depend on the tax revenue we create by our purchases. Can we afford to be the next community who have to cut back services?

Just look at Oneonta our neighbor to the east. What a pleasant place with great people, just like here. Yet, most have to travel to Trussville or Birmingham to really shop for some things. Hueytown some years back was the same way.

One city in Alabama has recently gone as far as having police meetings in public areas and made service cut backs.

Why? Lack of tax revenue.

And let me say this: No one ever left their business based solely on anything other than financial situations. A profitable business can always be sold before being closed.

So, as a merchant I say “goodbye” and “God bless” to the four stores currently closing. We will miss you.

Shop in Jefferson first! Use it, or we’ll all lose it.

Bob Boffa

Gardendale Jewelers

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