Broken Arrow is trying to fix a billion dollar problem. The Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce says too many of its residents spend money elsewhere. One survey found it's $1.1billion to be exact.
Some of that money could be spent at places like Rock A Bow Baby. Owner Angel Slingerland says the results of the survey don't surprise her. "I'm not real surprised because a lot of people that come in, they still don't know that we're here although we're fairly new, but they still don't about several places on Main Street and in Broken Arrow in general," she told Tulsa's Channel 8.
The chamber says that's costing the city too. Officials say $33 million dollars of that retail leakage would come back to the city itself through sales tax revenue. "They don't understand that when they leave, when those dollars leave here they're not keeping the dollars local for our fire, our police for our city streets, etc. So, they're living in this city and they want to take advantage of all of that, but they're not always spending their tax dollars here," explained Chamber V.P. April Sailsbury.
Now there's a push to educate residents. Salisbury says they're renewing Buy Broken Arrow. It's a holiday campaign that runs from November 2nd until December 16. Residents who shop at participating outlets get raffle tickets that could pay off with cash prices. "Everything helps," said the owner of McHuston Booksellers & Irish Bistro, Larry Hoefling. He says there's plenty of options in Broken Arrow, a community with more than 100,000 residents.
The Chamber says it's in the process of getting as many business as possible to participate in Buy Broken Arrow. The Chamber hopes the shoppers will continue to do business at those places long after the campaign is over.