Ferriday loses money to Vidalia

Published 6:00 am Sunday, January 14, 2007

The sales tax dollars moved to Vidalia when Wal-Mart left Ferriday, but it’s not all bad news, some say.

Concordia Parish tax collector Randy Temple said that Ferriday’s sales tax decreased $20,008 from $111,606 in November 2005 to $91,598 in November 2006.

Mayor Gene Allen said $20,000 was not that bad considering the Wal-Mart closed during one of its best money-making times of the year.

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“Usually that one retailer will (make) $35,000 to $45,000 during the months of November and December,” Allen said.

The store closed on Nov. 7.

Allen said Wal-Mart’s departure also gave other local retailers a chance to pick up the business during the holidays season.

Homer Owner of Hewitt’s Archery said since Wal-Mart left town his business has increased.

“We’re taking up the slack that Wal-Mart left, gaps where people can’t find certain types of products,” he said. “Mainly sporting goods and lawn and garden in the spring. If that happens to all the businesses in Ferriday, then I think you’ll see more and more small businesses pop up.”

Ferriday Chamber of Commerce President Liz Brooking said instead of concentrating on Wal-Mart’s move to Vidalia the town has a positive outlook.

“Ferriday’s individual and collective attitude is going to be the determining factor on where Ferriday goes from here,” she said.

“Whenever one door closes I believe other doors will open up.”

Allen said the town is trying to promote Ferriday’s existing businesses to expand their lines of merchandise and store hours to increase sales tax.

Allen also said his administration is promoting new businesses to come into Ferriday and said the town’s sales tax should be back up by March.