With holiday shopping in full swing, the City of Broken Arrow is hoping shoppers will spend their money close to home, supporting the community. The "Back to BA" campaign hopes to get people to shop local.
Broken Arrow's Rose District has several places to shop, and the city said when people shop there and throughout the city, it's a win for everyone.
Holiday decorations are up, and shopping is underway in Broken Arrow, but businesses worry about losing customers to online retailers. American Hatfield owner Kyle Hatfield said it's tough competing against giants like Amazon.
"We've seen a lot of stores here recently within the last year have had to close and go completely online or just close up altogether,” said Hatfield.
Broken Arrow city leaders are concerned too. Like other cities in Oklahoma, BA relies solely on sales tax revenue to fund expenses such as answering 911 calls, providing police and fire protection, and repairing potholes.
Mayor Craig Thurmond said spending money outside the community only makes things worse.
“When you spend your money on Amazon and call 911, Amazon isn't coming to help you, we're the ones that come and help you."
The mayor said Broken Arrow keeps growing, so it's easier now than ever to shop local.
"Years ago, when I got on the council we didn't have as many, but now we have a lot of places to shop and to dine that you don't have to leave Broken Arrow," he said.
City Leaders said the people running local shops like the ones in the Rose District are also living in the community, so they have a vested interest too. Kyle Hatfield has been in business for about four years.
He said you can't get an experience like this online.
"My heart and soul have been into the brick and mortar store and making it a unique experience for customers," he said.
City leaders hope people will not only shop locally during the holidays but throughout the year.