AS SEEN IN THE RED ROCK NEWS
July 24, 2020
What do you think of the new uptown? It’s exciting to see the most significant traffic upgrade in years functioning smoothly after 13 months of construction. The improvements are all well-planned: a new southbound lane coming out of Oak Creek Canyon, a Schnebly Road roundabout that will soon connect to more parking off 89A, a raised median to reduce left turns and control pedestrian crossings, and a new roundabout at Jordan Road. You can tell the difference already.
Sedonans made a difference, too. Your uptown merchants are grateful for your support during months of disruption. Of course, when construction began last June, no one could anticipate the disastrous 2020 pandemic and the uncertainty that haunts us today. Now, merchants are working harder than ever to stay open and win your business, this time all over Sedona. For example, hundreds of companies are on board with Sedona | Safe.Clean.Ready to assure you of a safe experience.
What can you do to help keep businesses open and Sedonans employed? The answer is simple: shop local!
Savvy shopping tips:
Safety first! Mask up when you go out and look for the Sedona | Safe.Clean.Ready posters with additional tips on interacting safely.
1. Get a steady stream of deals and discounts in your inbox by signing up for the Chamber e-newsletter at sedonachamber.com.
2. Sign up for email alerts from your favorite businesses and take advantage of their online shopping and delivery options.
3. Take a break from making meals with our Locals Nite Out promotions, beginning July 27 at ChocolaTree Organic Oasis. This popular ‘Buy One, Get One’ deal will pop up at different restaurants every Wednesday through August. Details at LocalsNiteOut.com.
4. Visit sedonachamber.com. The ‘Local Coupons’ and ‘What’s Open’ tabs have more specials and updates.
Shopping local helps hundreds of locally-owned small businesses and benefits you directly. The sales tax you pay goes directly to the City of Sedona, covering the cost of services such as police, local parks and transportation, as mentioned above.
That is more important than ever as the virus-related drop in tourism spending is causing shortfalls in City revenue. March and April sales tax collections (the most recent stats available) were down 42 and 57 percent compared to last year. Hotels and resorts are getting hit hard, with bed tax collections in March and April down 52 and 90 percent. The City budget approved July 14 anticipates a $5.3 million reduction in sales and bed tax revenues in FY21. Shopping locally can help our local government funds recover.
As we move forward in the COVID era and navigate these short-term challenges, Sedona will keep our eyes on future horizons. Today, we can see the uptown improvements in action and know they will benefit us for decades to come. The disruption, though painful, paid off.
What will we say about the disruption of COVID-19 in the decades to come? By sticking together, supporting our local businesses and workers, interacting safely, and refusing to give up our dreams, I believe we will look back and say the pandemic made us more resilient, more united in our sense of identity, and prouder than ever to be Sedonans.
–Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO