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Back-to-school Shopping has Significant Impact on Local Economy

The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects total sales for back-to-school shopping (K-12 and college) to reach $83.6 billion in 2017, an increase of more than 10 percent over 2016 spending. As the second largest shopping season of the year, the weeks leading up to the start of school have a significant impact on the local economy.

“For many of our local retailers, the back-to-school shopping season is critical,” said Devin Gorman, vice president of operations at the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce. “According to research, $68 of every $100 spent locally stays in a community. Shopping local is vital for our economy because when that same money is spent out of the area or online with a non-local business, none of it re-circulates in our community.

According to the NRF survey, over 93 percent of shoppers say they plan to purchase basic items such as clothing, shoes, and classroom supplies. In addition, 60 percent of those surveyed said they plan to purchase electronic devices, with 4 out of those 5 stating that they plan to either purchase a laptop or tablet for their child. Families with children attending K-12 expect to spend over 8 percent more per child this year as compared to 2016.

“Families are now in a state of mind where they feel a lot more confident about the economy,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF. “With stronger employment levels and a continued increase in wages, consumers are spending more and we are optimistic that they will continue to do so throughout the rest of the year.”

More good news for local retailers comes from a back-to-school survey conducted by Deloitte, which found that shoppers are expecting to spend more than twice as much in-store as compared to online. About 1 in 5 shoppers in the survey also said they were undecided on where to shop (in-store or online) and could be persuaded by advertising or promotional sales.

“We encourage you to shop locally for your back-to-school supplies, which can save both time and money, all while supporting our local businesses,” said Gorman.

Chamber Announces Award Winners

Members of the Pittsburg area business community converged on Memorial Auditorium and Convention Center for the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Annual Banquet on Thursday, May 25. The sold out event celebrated the progress that has taken place over the past year in the Pittsburg area and recognized numerous businesses and community leaders.

“Our annual banquet provides us with a chance to say thank you and to highlight so many of the great businesses and individuals that have played a significant role in making our community a better place to live,” said Devin Gorman, vice president of operations for the chamber.

Awards presented included:

Spirit of Pittsburg – Joe Dellasega
Small Business of the Year – Pro X Realty
City of Pittsburg Employer of the Year – Kendall Packaging Corporation
Educator of the Year Tim Vesco, Frank Layden Elementary School
Volunteer of the Year Brian Lorimer, Community National Bank & Trust
BEA Bill Coleman Business Partner of the Year – Mercy Clinic, Arma
BEA Jerry Lindberg Volunteer of the Year – Missi Kelly (Posthumous – accepted by Missi’s husband, Chris Kelly)
BEA Koeta Bryant Education Partner of the Year – Jon Bishop, Pittsburg High School

(BEA = Business Education Alliance) 

Finalists for the Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by BKD, LLP, were Pro X Realty, Riggs Chiropractic, and Sweet Designs Cakery.

The finalists for the Educator of the Year Award, sponsored by Pitsco Education, were Amy Gray from Girard High School, Tim Vesco from Frank Layden Elementary School, and Christa Weber from George Nettels Elementary School.

Videos from Annual Banquet:


Large Capital Investments Spur Local Growth



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