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Keep your money closer to home

 

SHOP LOCAL THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Next to Super Bowl Sunday, Black Friday almost certainly is the most hyped day of the year.

Whether it’s the busiest shopping day or, as the story sometimes gets told, the day when retailers finally turn a profit for the year isn’t entirely clear.

But with “door buster” sales and people lining up before dawn, Black Friday is recognized as the start of a holiday shopping season that now includes Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and if the frenzied hunt for this year’s “it” items makes you a little queasy, there is Giving Tuesday.

The last couple years, e-tailers cleaned up on holiday sales. This year, with worldwide supply chain issues, shoppers may not be able to count on online orders arriving in time for Christmas.

This still is a make-or-break season for retailers, especially many locally owned shops that employ local residents. Many of them are struggling.

They are our neighbors, and they need our help. Their inventories are affected by supply chain issues too, but their shelves aren’t empty. We think it’s always a good idea to shop locally. This year it’s especially important. More of the money you spend in the community stays here, supporting area residents and other local businesses.

Sales taxes stay here, too, funding first responders and other vital public services. Online purchases mostly support services in other communities.

Research published by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance shows that 68 cents of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the community -getting spent again and again at local stores and restaurants. By comparison, 43 cents out of each dollar spent with nonlocal businesses stays put. Hometown businesses also are twice as likely to donate to local causes.

If you want to give gifts that were made locally, you’re more likely to find them in local shops or at the many craft fairs that will be held between now and Christmas.

Local businesses also are more likely to use the services of local accountants, restaurants, custodians, attorneys, etc., providing an even greater opportunity to boost local economy.

Sure, it’s convenient, and maybe even a little less expensive, to order somethng online. But those purchases, even if you’re just buying a gift card, take money out of local circulation and, in the long run, hurt businesses that provide jobs and support youth sports, schools and other programs here at home.

So whether you join the post-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza or hold off until later, please support local merchants. It’s a wise investment that will pay off for your community.

November 23, 2022