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Shopping season in full force

Ah… Turkey, ham, green bean casserole.

Bah, Humbug.

After the pecan pie turns to little more than crumbs and aluminum pans, Thanksgiving means one thing all over the nation (Demopolis included). It’s time to shop.

The day after Thanksgiving has become crowned the biggest shopping day of the year, and financial analysts believe shoppers will spend more this year than they did last year &045; after the attacks of Sept. 11.

No one hopes for a big shopping turnout than Demopolis Mayor Austin Caldwell.

In simpler terms, the money spent in Demopolis during shopping season helps run this city. And in even simpler terms, the more people who shop in Demopolis, the better this city can operate – financially, at least.

That slogan, "Shop Demopolis First," has caught momentum over the past few years. Collins and her store are members of the "Downtown Merchants Association," a group that pushes for citizens to shop the downtown area first.

That, Collins said, is one of the biggest attractions for customers. Leverett believes there are even more reasons to shop in Demopolis.

The answer, obviously, is "no." Hometown businesses support the people of Demopolis, and the people should do likewise for the businesses, Leverett said.

Sales numbers in Demopolis have not grown smaller, which obviously means people are shopping at home. According to Caldwell, the city took in $186,000 in 1995 in sales tax. In 2001, that number jumped to $240,000.

Even as people continue to shop at home first, Caldwell also hints at the "I’ll pat your back, you pat mine" mentality.

Successful businesses, in other words, means more jobs for the people of Demopolis.

Leverett said the effort by downtown merchants to attract customers will go a long way toward the shopping effort in Demopolis.

Then again, there is always the reality of shopping in a small town.