Holiday shopping in local area is alive and well!

That’s the outlook of most area business managers and a chamber of commerce executive director here following “Black Friday,” the year’s most intense shopping day in the country.

The volume of business sales for the post Thanksgiving holiday just passed had not been tallied by press time, but the outlook for the number of shoppers leading up to the day following Thanksgiving was optimistic.

The weather, an element that weighs heavily on shopper turnout, also cooperated, allowing shoppers to move more comfortably among stores.

 “I’ve talked to a lot of business people (concerning the local economy) around the area, and everyone seems to have a positive attitude about their expectations,” said Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Donna Tucker. “Inventories are high, spirits are high, and businesses are promoting themselves, getting together in a spirit of cooperation that is certain to bring about a very successful season for them,” Tucker added.

She also said the Camber is putting together a “shop local” campaign that is also expected to have an impact. “The campaign will urge people to support local businesses by shopping here, rather than out of the area.”

 “I think it (the economy) is going to be slow this season,” said Margi Anderson at Margi’s Emporium. “I’m hoping it will pick up, but I’m not sure it will. Money is tight right now. People just don’t have it to spend.”

Barry White at Tops Appliances here in Milton appears to agree with Anderson, except that he isn’t quite as optimistic. “I don’t see where things (the economy) are going to get any better in the next four years…no, make that 12 years!”

(He has a great sense of humor, so we don’t know if he is kidding!)

 “I think the business climate and the economic environment in general are good and will continue to be good in the foreseeable future,” assured Milton Mayor Guy Thompson. “New businesses are being established here, bringing opportunities to more people. I believe things will continue to get better as the season progresses.”

 “People are a little reserved,” said Becky Smith of Simply Southern Gift Sop, “yet expect everything to pickup as we go into the season of giving; and (we should) be thankful for our blessing and be thankful for each other.

 “It’s hard to tell,” responded Dr. Jimmie D. Hill of RGH Alternative Health Food Store in Pea Ridge. “It all depends on what they do in Washington. It could go either way.

November and December are traditionally the biggest shopper-friendly months of the year, beginning the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday). And although the business climate may seem lucrative during these holiday months, it must be factored into those long winter months when shoppers are less inclined to be out and about. Generally speaking, however, once the economy begins to move (in either direction), in most cases it has the capacity to regenerate itself.