By Aubrey Nettles, Economic Development Manager
An annual rite of the holiday season is the hustle and bustle of busy shoppers searching stores for the perfect gift. The shops are festively decorated, and smiles abound as the joy of the season overwhelms our senses.
Holiday shopping may look different this year, but those ideal gifts remain in abundance. In fact, with many businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, shopping in College Station is more vital than ever.
You have friends, family members, and neighbors who own or operate — or are employed by — these businesses. Our entire community needs them to stay afloat.
Local shopping also generates sales taxes, a portion of which goes directly back to your community to fund essential government services such as the police, fire, and parks departments. More than 30% of the City of College Station’s annual revenue comes from sales tax revenue. When local sales are strong, we rely less on other revenue sources, which benefits us all.
Holiday shopping has traditionally been the most critical time of year for countless businesses since it generates their annual sales peak. This year, many are just trying to survive until the pandemic passes, and normal life resumes.
You can help by choosing to shop in College Station.
Local businesses have implemented extensive precautions to ensure the safety of their customers and employees. Some retailers have started Black Friday-type savings events early to avoid a rush of shoppers the day after Thanksgiving. Others allow you to order online and pick-up at the store, with many offering a curbside option.
Some even have contactless home delivery options for College Station and Bryan residents.
Local stores have installed ample safety measures such as plexiglass dividers at check out and multiple sanitizing stations. All are enforcing six-foot physical spacing and mandatory face coverings.
While the obligatory face coverings may conceal the broad smiles we typically share at Christmastime, they can’t hide the sparkle in shoppers’ eyes and the cheerful nature of the season.
About the Blogger
Aubrey Nettles is in her third year as the city’s Economic Development Manager. She also served four years as the special projects coordinator in the City Manager’s Office. Before coming to College Station, she was the executive assistant to the Fort Bend County Commission and was a management analyst for Harris County. A native of Smithville, Aubrey earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Houston in 2012 and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas A&M in 2010.