Most of us are familiar with shop-at-home campaigns — marketing efforts by cities or chambers of commerce that encourage residents to spend their money at local businesses instead of driving to other areas and giving someone else the revenue.
And such promotional efforts make good sense. It really does pay to shop at home because supporting the folks who own businesses in your city or town boosts the local economy, generates tax revenue and helps keep jobs available, among other benefits.
But what if you want to shop locally but face limited opportunities to do so? That’s a problem that Corinth city officials are trying to solve.
Guy Brown, director of the Corinth Economic Development Corporation, tells us that one issue Corinth faces is that it lacks an identity. As a result, developers tend to bypass the city, and a high percentage of residents spend their money in other communities.
Corinth faces competition from surrounding cities that have more mature communities and are more likely to attract commercial businesses, and the regional competition is pulling sales tax away from Corinth, Brown said. He estimated that about $400 million annually is spent outside city limits.
“There is little awareness of Corinth in the region,” Brown said. “But because we don’t have an identity, this is our chance to create one.”
Corinth city officials will soon consider approving a plan proposed by the economic development corporation to start a marketing campaign designed to develop an economic identity for Corinth and lure commercial development.
Brown said building a marketing strategy will help officials advertise to outside developers and turn the city into a destination for customers and development.
The campaign will include distributing brochures containing city information and conducting events that target specific development groups and potential partners. It will promote Corinth’s strengths, which include its proximity to Dallas and Fort Worth, good schools and strong residential development.
Brown gave a presentation of the marketing strategy to the City Council in a recent workshop session. He said the marketing campaign will be an ongoing effort for the city and each phase of the project should be implemented within three to five years.
Council members said they were eager to start the marketing campaign and praised Brown and the EDC’s work on the project.
“It’s a necessary task I think that will benefit the city, and I’m sure as we move forward with it, we’ll start to see some positive results,” Mayor Paul Ruggiere said.
We agree. According to city documents, implementing each stage of the plan would cost the city approximately $130,000, and there will be some recurring costs.
In our view, that price tag seems like a good investment — even a bargain — if the campaign can help Corinth recapture some of the estimated $400 million spent outside the city limits each year.
That figure represents a sizeable loss to Corinth, and as Brown told us, it’s money that could be put to better use at home so the burden of taxes doesn’t fall on the homeowner.