By Mason W. Canales

Harker Heights Herald

Those who shop locally during the holiday season are not only helping out those businesses, they are helping the community grow, according to the Harker Height Chamber of Commerce. And it is going to be a great shopping season for the city.

The chamber is anticipating that it will see the same number of people shopping in Harker Heights this holiday season than last, and hopefully more, Chamber President Bill Kozlik said.

"I think that people buy locally because they are looking to shop locally," Kozlik said.

Someone isn't going to drive somewhere else when the same services are offered here, he said.

With developments such as Walmart, H-E-B, and the entirety of Market Heights shopping center, the city is becoming more self-sustainable for shoppers.

But the anchor stores and restaurants are different enough from Killeen's to keep people shopping in both communities, Kozlik said.

"The only thing that I can say is everyone that lives in the community and in the surrounding community I think is a team player," he said.

According to the State Comptroller's Office, Harker Heights saw about $218 million in taxable sales in 2008 and about $269 million in taxable sales in 2009.

The fourth quarter - October, November and December - has traditionally seen a drastic increase in sales, which means people are shopping here during the holiday season, Kozlik said.

In 2008, taxable sales tracked by the Comptroller's Office jumped by about $13 million between the end of the third and fourth quarter and in 2009, it jumped by about $10 million.

"I think we are going to be up again," Kozlik said. "And I think if we look at what happened on Black Friday, most of the businesses that I talked to said they did really well."

When shoppers come to the city to purchase goods, they are not only shopping at our stores, they are seeing what the city has to offer, Kozlik said.

What they notice may lead those people to moving into the city limits, or perhaps just their traffic will encourage another business to open its doors in the city, he said. And that is growth.

"If they are coming into the area, and they are shopping locally, they are supporting the community and supporting the business that are here," Kozlik said.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.

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