December 15, 2001
Cortez is moving forward with an impressive plan to increase sales tax within the city. The new Cortez Retail Sales Enhancement Program has been launched, and its presence has already had a positive effect on sales. Retailers report an optimistic Christmas shopping season so far, and signs of recession have remained distant.
Kelly Allmon, recently hired as the new director for the program, says Retail Enhancement is a positive move forward. "The REP represents every sales tax holder, from gas stations to boutiques, within the city of Cortez. We plan to become the regional trade center for the area, reaching to residents in a 100-mile radius. Cortez will become the marketplace it was 1,000 years ago."
The goal of the REP is to create support and implement promotions, programs, events and advertising that will generate income for the retail sales tax license holders in Cortez. The resolution enabling it was passed in July this year, with a large majority in favor of the plan.
"The proposal was initiated by local merchants, not from the City itself. That gives it the community support it needs to be successful," Allmon said.
"I’m very excited about the program," she added. "The City of Cortez has recognized the need for a concentrated focus on our local businesses, and is encouraging that by implementing the REP." It offers equal representation to each business, from the smallest to the largest.
The program is administered by an advisory committee, comprised of business owners, and deals with the ebbs and flows of retailing on a daily basis. Events, promotions and advertising are a large part of the plan, as is a local "currency" program.
"We intend to provide growth opportunities for existing businesses by creating an image in shoppers’ minds of what Cortez can offer," Allmon said. "Many people are unaware that we have 40 restaurants and over 75 gift and retail shops, among the 128-plus other service and supply stores in Cortez alone. That’s an incredible source of shopping for local and regional residents alike."