South Ga counties see drop in revenue from online sales; Local s - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

South Ga counties see drop in revenue from online sales; Local shops adapt to trends

Downtown Valdosta (Source: WALB) Downtown Valdosta (Source: WALB)
LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) -

Online retail sales are cutting into tax revenue in counties and cities here in South Georgia.

It's also effecting how small businesses operate in order to be competitive.

Whether you're in line at a local shop or ordering what you need from the comfort of your computer, Consumers are always spending money.

Leaders in local governments in South Georgia said they aren't necessarily seeing the tax revenue come back from those sales like they used to.

"If you're buying something from Amazon or another online site. Most of the time if you're paying any tax at all you're paying state taxes," said Paige Dukes, Lowndes Co. POI.

Some business owners, like Country Cobbler in Valdosta are closing their doors after 55 years in business, they say it's because of this trend.

"It doesn't sound like much, a few pennies at a time but it adds up," said Dukes.

A graph from the most recent Lowndes County budget shows a big drop off in revenue in 2016.

Some Valdosta businesses like Art and Soul downtown are taking this trend and adapting their business around it.

Showing off pictures on instagram and facebook of unique items they handmake, stuff you can't necessarily find online.

"Online sales isn't going anywhere its here to stay and infact probably growing so we wanted to offer something unique," said Stan Crance, Art and Soul operating manager.

Art and Soul also holds weekly contests, requiring folks to share and like their posts.

"Local businesses are very important. We love to be apart of downtown Valdosta. They provide a great service to the local residents," said Crace.

The common message that both small business owners and county leaders have is 'Shop Local'

"At the end of the day we just want everyone to be a good citizen and a good shopper and buy local," said Dukes.

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