LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The Lawton City Council voted to hire a company to attract new business to the city in hopes of increasing sales tax revenue by millions.
The company is called Retail Coach.
City Planner Richard Rogalski said sales tax revenue has been 'leaking' out of the community when people choose to go out of town to spend their money. He says the city does not have access to the specific data Retail Coach does, and having that information can make or break a company's decision to move to Lawton.
"I hate to look at it as a competition...but we really are competing with other cities our size," Rogalski said. "They're only going to build so many stores, and there are lots more towns that could use that store, and so we are trying to just put our best foot forward."
The company has access to credit card and cell phone data that can show what the spending habits are in Lawton.
Rogalski said existing businesses in town can also have access to that data through the Chamber of Commerce.
An exact date of when the company will start hasn't been set, but $42,000 from the hotel motel tax revenue will be used to pay for their services for a year, with an option to extend the agreement for another two years at $22,000 per year.