City officials encourage residents to shop local to prevent budget shortfall

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Fewer dollars being spent on local hotels and shopping is partially to blame for Roanoke City's hiring freeze, according to the city's finance director.

Barbara Dameron, Roanoke City's Finance Director, said sales are about 7 percent below the year-to-date budget and about 3 percent lower than this time last year. Although lodging picked up in November, Dameron said lodging revenues are still 5 percent below budget expectations.

City leaders encourage community members to shop local to make up for the losses.

"For the residents to avoid shopping online if they can and to shop locally and support your local businesses," said Dameron. "By doing that, you'll be supporting your community and the city".

City leaders announced the hiring freeze on Tuesday to ensure expenditures align with revised revenue expectations. Officials said hiring will be done on a case-by-case basis.