EDC Board to create Shop Local campaign


By Rachel Madison

The EDC Board unanimously approved the creation of a Shop Local campaign at its meeting on Sept. 22, which will be rolled out to shoppers in Liberty Hill by Black Friday.

Matt Powell, executive director of the EDC, said he will create window signage, point of sale signage and table signage that can be used in any business that is collecting sales tax within the city’s limits, so that shoppers will know when their sales taxes are staying local. The slogan for the campaign will be “What you spend here, stays here,” he added.

Director Demetrice Gonzalez suggested adding QR codes to the signage, so that shoppers can use their phone to learn where Liberty Hill’s local businesses are. Powell said he would add the code to the design.

Powell also gave the Board an update on sales tax revenues for the last two months. In August, the total sales tax revenue was $270,104, which is approximately 38 percent higher than August 2020.

“This is an all-time record for a month,” Powell said. “It’s the highest it’s ever been.”

In September, the total sales tax was $239,000, which is 34 percent higher than September 2020.

“I still think it’s a little out of the question to have a $300,000 month this year, but I would fully anticipate we will have at least one of those in 2022,” Powell said. “The numbers tend to climb approximately 35 percent over the year before each month.”

City Council Member Chris Pezold also spoke briefly to the Board during the public comment period on his thoughts on the EDC’s need to do more community-based projects.

“When this board was formed in 2003, it was based on bringing in projects that would draw the community in, so I’m challenging everyone in here to do a shift,” he said. “We don’t have to advertise for businesses to come in. They are coming here whether they are incentivized or not. What we need is community development that creates better living for the people that will attract those big businesses. I think you guys can do better.”

Pezold added that organizations like the Liberty Hill Youth League don’t have enough baseball fields to support the growing number of players in the community, and that’s something the EDC could help with.

“Push yourself to create something that will change the community,” he said.

Powell said Pezold’s comments were timely and well taken, and that he has been working on putting together a new strategic plan for the EDC board, which he plans to have in place by Jan. 1, 2022.

The Board also unanimously approved a sponsorship budget of $10,000, to be given to the City of Liberty Hill to use for events as it sees fit, for this year’s fiscal budget. The Board also will plan on approving another $10,000 in sponsorship funds for the 2021-2022 fiscal year as well.

Lastly, the Board discussed its first community event, which will be held Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. at Dahlia Cafe, and is open to the public to attend. Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long will be speaking and providing a state of the county update.

EDC Vice President John Clark was absent from the meeting. The next meeting of the EDC will be held Oct. 20 at 5 p.m.