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Retail Sales Drop In Virginia

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Hollin Hall Pastry Shop owner Mel Meadows.
Michael Pope
Hollin Hall Pastry Shop owner Mel Meadows.

When deputies from the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office arrived at the Hollin Hall Pastry Shop in Mount Vernon to shut the place down, owner Mel Meadows wasn't surprised.

"I hadn't filed my taxes for five years," Meadows says.

Meadows isn't the only retailer to be hit by hard times. Across Northern Virginia, sales are down.

Fairfax County and Alexandria report two years of declining sales tax revenue, with June and July drastically down in Alexandria. In Arlington, sales tax revenue is about 6 percent lower this year compared to last year.

"Whenever cash flow drops, it's always a burden because you don't have the money to pay the other bills, so you just do what you have to do," Meadows says.

Many businesses have closed their doors, but the story for Meadows has a sweet ending. He's paid up on his taxes, and the pastry business has picked up in recent months.

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