Franchot calls local shopping 'patriotic'

December 05, 2011|By ANDREW SCHOTZ |
  • Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot talks with Columbia Sportswear employee, Amanda Manspeaker, as he shops at Hagerstown Premium Outlets on Monday.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot held a press conference Monday at Hagerstown Premium Outlets, encouraging the public to make their holiday gift purchases in the community, in person.

"The most patriotic way during the holiday season to help the state of Maryland and help the United States of America is to come down and shop local," he said.

Instead of "sitting at home at 11 o'clock at night by yourself doing your shopping," Franchot said, people should patronize "real, social, warm, friendly, welcoming shop owners ..."

The comptroller makes the same public message about keeping shopping dollars in Maryland a few times a year, including when the state has its tax-free week as families buy back-to-school items.

After speaking Monday, Franchot purchased items at Nike Factory Store and Columbia Sportswear Company.

Along the way, he stopped shoppers, introduced himself as "your state comptroller" and shared his "shop local" message.

Franchot was joined by Patrick Donoho, president of the Maryland Retailers Association, and Washington County Commissioners Jeffrey A. Cline and Ruth Ann Callaham.

Donoho said buying items locally means more accountability. If there's a problem, "you have someone to complain to" instead of having to call a foreign country for customer service, he said.

Donoho said neighbors and friends hold jobs at local retailers, which are more likely to support local causes.

"Have you ever seen a Little League team (uniform) with on it?" Franchot asked.

Callaham continued the sports theme by talking about basketball sneakers she bought for her grandson. When her grandson scores 20 points in a game, the sales associate who sold the sneakers will enjoy hearing the story, she said.

As Maryland's elected tax collector, Franchot also mentioned the taxes that the state loses to online commerce. He quipped that he had forms with him for anyone who wanted to declare the state sales tax for something purchased online.

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