Pittsburg Back to School Shopping Impacts Local Economy

By Felicia Lawrence

Published 07/23 2014 09:24PM

Updated 07/23 2014 10:25PM

PITTSBURG, KS.--- The school year is fast approaching and the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce is urging people to do their back-to-school shopping in Pittsburg.  

"Well, it's especially important for Pittsburg being a college town, because not only do we have K-12 students buying supplies locally, but we also have over 7,000 college students that are also getting ready for school. So it's a big time of year for us," said Blake Benson, President of the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

According to the National Retail Federation, back to school is the second largest shopping season of the year behind Christmas. Which is why the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce is urging its residents to shop local. 

"Obviously, when you spend money with a local merchant, well, over two-thirds of that stays in your community through loal businesses and employees. And when you spend that in another area, obviously, all of that money leaves. So, we really encourage our local residents to give our local businesses first opportunity," said Benson. 

Gorilla Country Owner Steve Scott says when people spend money at stores like his, they do more than help him, they are also helping the seven to eight people that he employs. 

"It is very important that they shop locally because they not only support the stores, but the people we employ. And that helps the stores around and also the general economy of the area," said Steve Scott, Owner of Gorilla Country.

Representatives with another Pittsburg store explains that shopping locally has more implications than people think.

"We collect the sales tax revenue, which we pay to the state. That's very important, that part there. So if you buy it, stay here in Kansas and stay here in Pittsburg and shop, then the sales tax dollars are paid to the State of Kansas and the City of Pittsburg, and not going out of state," said Phil Minton, President/CEO of Jock's Nitch.

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