And it comes amid a slew of grim new numbers. For example, the economy shrunk by half a percent last quarter, housing prices fell in 20 major cities by 17.4 percent last month, and consumer spending is now at a 28 year low. One group of local retailers is hoping for the best this holiday shopping season.
It's simple economics: money spent at home, stays at home. At least that's what business owners in Lafayette hope happens this holiday shopping season with their new campaign called "Try Lafayette First."
"Our small communities like this really depend on our sales tax base and when people are leaving town, the dollars are leaving town too," says Jay Lifson, president of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.
"If we want to keep the sense of community, I think we should start first by taking care of our city," says Zeina Hissen, from Powells Sweet Shoppe.
To force the issue, as it were, merchants want residents to sign a pledge, a written promise to try to shop local, before heading out of town.
"The perception is, if you go to an online store or a chain-book store, that you're going to get a better value, but that's not always the case. We have stacks and stacks of hardcover bestsellers for a dollar," says Scott Simpson, from a Lafayette book store.
The owner of Clocks Etcetera thinks "Try Lafayette First" couldn't come at a better time.
"A lot of our income is generated over the next couple of months, so it's got to be a good one for us," says Scott Hampton, a clock store owner.
On Monday, in a show of solidarity merchants in Lafayette will hold a rally. They'll march through the center of town, all to remind those who live her to spend their holiday dollars at home.
"Do you shop here?" asks ABC7's Laura Anthony.
"I do, pretty much, because I try to walk or bicycle," says Mike Wilson, a Lafayette resident.
"I don't know if I need to sign a pledge to do it. Just be with your people, shop where you are," says Paul Schmidt, a Lafayette resident.
"Do you think it's important to spend your money in the town where you live?" asks Anthony.
"Sort of," said Luke Schmidt, a Lafayette resident.
"Where do you like to shop?" asks Anthony.
"I like to shop just at Target," said Schmidt.
"So if Lafayette had a Target, you'd stay in town?" asks Anthony.
"Yeah, pretty much," says Schmidt.
According to the Lafayette Chamber, there are no plans for a new Target anytime soon.