With a wonderful Thanksgiving behind us and as we transition into holiday shopping mode, I would like to encourage Rio Rancho residents to buy local and shop small this holiday season.

Gregg Hull

Frequently, when I advocate for “shopping in Rio Rancho,” people tend to think it is all about gross receipts tax, which is very important to the city’s economic viability, yet it is so much more than that.

The national Shop Small effort celebrated its 10th year on Saturday. However, the effort to buy local, shop small and think Rio Rancho first should not be constrained to a single day.

In partnership with local businesses and the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce, our push spreads over three weeks from the recent tree-lighting ceremony at the Plaza at Enchanted Hills through the city’s Winterfest celebration in City Center on Saturday, Dec. 14.

When you shop — spend money — in Rio Rancho, you’re:

• Investing in our community;

• Creating and supporting local jobs;

• Supporting entrepreneurship and small business, the economic backbone of our country;

• Helping the environment with shorter commutes; and

• Bettering our community and, in turn, adding to the fabric of the community and enriching our civic pride.

As you look to shop locally, yes, there are the visible independent restaurants and retailers like Joe’s Pasta House, Namaste, Café Bella, Rio Rancho Shoe & Boot Repair and Harris Jewelers, to name just a few. Yet I encourage you to think about your year-round patronage of service providers like attorneys, barber shops, dry-cleaning, eye doctors, insurance agents, landscapers, mechanics, veterinarians and many more.

Of course, the tax generation is also important. A percentage of the gross receipts tax and the property tax collected and paid by businesses goes into the city’s general fund, which pays for the core functions of local government like public safety, parks, road repairs, libraries and more.

If every resident spent $100 or more annually inside city limits, our general fund would grow by several hundred thousand dollars, augmenting our ability to do more road improvements, hire more police officers and make available more quality-of-life amenities by increasing revenue without increasing tax rates.

I wish you a joyous and safe holiday season, and I thank you, in advance, for shopping and spending money in Rio Rancho.

P.S. A gift-giving idea: If you don’t know what to buy someone, consider giving a gift card to a Rio Rancho business. Not only does it build on the notions above, but it also helps carry the message to your family and friends.

Learn about holiday events at rrnm.gov (Click on events), rrrcc.org or shopsmall.com.

(Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull was elected to his second term in 2018.)