Column: An easy way to help the economy: spend

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 21, 2001

From staff reports

Just a short time ago, our country went about business without giving much thought about terrorism and security.

Friday, September 21, 2001

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Just a short time ago, our country went about business without giving much thought about terrorism and security. Today, things are much different.

As our country attempts to recover and get back into the swing of things, there are a few things we can all do to help. If everyone bought just one share of stock or mutual fund share, it would tremendously lift the stock market. But, there is more that we can do.

My suggestions: Consider doing positive things versus those that are negative. For example, go on a shopping spree. It sounds a little bizarre, but hear me out. Shopping has a way of making us feel better when we treat ourselves to a new tie, sneakers, a gift for someone else, or some good food. This type of behavior not only encourages us to get back to normal (signaling to the terrorists that they have failed to stop our way of life, economy and freedom), but it will inject new money into the economy and kick-start a faster recovery.

Our federal government, financial institutions, and large businesses are doing their part to create liquidity and keep the economy afloat…the factor they have virtually no control over is consumer confidence and spending. So, let’s help them out.

Confidence in the economy is a very fickle subject. We saw just how vulnerable it can be the night following the terrorist’s attack on New York and the Pentagon. When retail gas prices in some metropolitan area’s skyrocketed, people panicked and stood in long lines to fill their vehicles. I am not sure what they were thinking, but when cooler minds prevailed the situation calmed down and gas prices returned to near normal. Another example can be seen during past winter snow storms, when consumers rushed to the grocery stores and bought up all the groceries – again, logical planning and calm minds are needed.

To do your part in strengthening the community, why not consider doing one or more of the following:

— Go shopping, and buy a new outfit.

— Pick up those needed supplies that you have been putting off.

— Take in a movie and eat dinner at your favorite restaurant.

— Visit your favorite shopping district and buy someone a gift.

— Fill up your vehicle with gas and wash it.

— Invest some money by buying stocks or mutual funds.

— Simply go for walks in a pleasant setting, instead of staying home and dwelling on the past terrorism acts.

— Say something nice the next person you see. In fact, say something nice to the next person you don’t even know.

The President of the United States and Congress recently approved the rebate of millions of dollars. President Bush’s intent was to have each taxpayer help stimulate the economy. Many taxpayers have already received their rebate checks and my family will receive our rebate in one of the last payments. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with the sudden windfall. In fact, I even made comments about sending it back to the federal government – but now I intend to spend the money and do our part to help fight terrorism.

These are all small steps that will make you feel better, help our economy, and send a strong message to those cowards. Over the next few days and weeks – please make plans to bolster and strengthen our local economy. Remember, if you don’t support our local economy you will in effect help the terrorist’s win.

Take care, and remember, if you want to make a difference in your community – get involved in YOUR Chamber!

Allen Pelvit is president of the Albert Lea – Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.