2017-02-15 / Front Page

Chamber launches SPEND campaign to promote local shopping

BY TONY VINDELL
Reporter

A new campaign to motivate people to shop locally has been launched by the local chamber of commerce.

Called SPEND, the whole idea behind it is to keep the money area residents have at their disposal from going elsewhere else.

Elma Chavez, the chamber’s executive director, unveiled the initiative during Monday and Tuesday meetings of the Economic Development Corp. of Raymondville and the city commission.

She said SPEND stands for Shop, Play, Explore, Network and Dine in the city and in Willacy County.

“Our shop local campaign is to encourage, support and promote economic development in our community,” she said. “We encourage everybody to participate with this program.”

Chavez said the chamber is partnering with the city and EDC to ensure its sucess.

She said they will be issuing bumper stickers, decals and putting up signs to raise awareness about SPEND.

“We have quite a few restaurants, boutiques and many other shops offering different types of services,” she said. “We hope people will make a u-turn to shop locally.”

She said a coupon book will soon go on sale and it will have a double function: to raise funds for the chamber and to benefit the participating businesses.

The EDC board voted to allocate $2,500 and on Tuesday the city commission, which has to ratify any such actions, tabled it until the next meeting in two weeks.

In other business, the city commission heard a complaint a citizen, Larry Cordrey, about problems he has been having with loose and barking dogs.

He said he has been fed up with the increase of loose dogs on city streets, particularly in his neighborhood along West Wood Street.

“You won’t believe it,” he said. “This situation with so many loose dogs is getting out of hand.”

In fact, Cordrey aid, it starts to smell like sewage as dog excrement is everywhere.

He said he lodged a similar complaint during a November meeting of the city commission.

Apparently, he said, none seemed to care.

“What else can you do?” he said. “I can’t sit around doing nothing?”

Police Chief Uvaldo Zamora said the city’s animal control officer has been doing his job.

He then gave a report that included 33 impounded dogs, seven o’possums picked up and 10 dead cats, during the month of January.

The commission also proclaimed April 30-May 6 as Small Business Week in the city and approved paying members fees to the South Texas Manufacturing Association and to the Lions’ Club for Rina Castillo, the EDC’s executive director.

The commission approved a new contract with Communities Unlimited to run the Small Business Revolving Loan Program for $1,400 a month.

A contract EDC and the city had with Reyna & Associates for $3,000 a month wasn’t renewed and CU is now in charge of the program.

Andy Chavez, the city’s building inspector, said Saturday’s campaign netted 900 used tires and a second round will be this coming Saturday.

He said the first tenants at Casita Los Olmos have begun moving in this week.

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