SLIDELL- The priority for many shoppers this Christmas season is to save as much as possible. But for the City of Slidell the hope is that its residents spend as much as possible and do it close to home.
The credit cards were swiping early at Three Divas and a Sugar Daddy gift shop Friday morning. The Slidell store served up hot sales and cold champagne to compete with big box businesses on Black Friday.
"We want people to know we'll be here and if they're looking for something we don't have, we'll send them to another business here locally," said owner Sylvia Reine.
Shopper Temple Melder said, "I'm going through the sale racks and I'm supposed to be buying for other people, but I’m not I'm buying for myself."
Some shoppers say they like the extras offered, but don't need them to want to keep their dollars close to home.
"I think it’s great if you can support your local community, it's absolutely the best thing you can do," said Melder.
The City of Slidell is glad to hear that kind of attitude. The mayor posted a message on the city's website pushing shoppers to spend in town this Christmas season, in hopes of helping the city stay in the black.
"It helps out local economy and we certainly need that in these times that we're going through right now, and that's been the message from the mayor," said City Council President Lionel Hicks.
The City of Slidell made this pitch to shoppers last year, and although it is in a better financial condition this year, city leaders say they can take all the support you can give.
"I think we're probably around even as far as our sales taxes are concerned, those are one of the things I heard, even though it was unofficial," said Hicks, “We urge our citizens every year to try and shop local."
And so far, it seems many are stepping up to the Christmas season challenge.
Last year, the city’s finances were 5 percent below what it anticipated for the time of year. The “Shop Local” pitch then only helped the city make up a small amount of that deficit.