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Shopping Local Makes Sense

Many of us get a little crazy during the holidays. Sometimes we just don’t use our heads.

Clearly, the person who wrote a recommendation for one of those national consumer organizations wasn’t using his or hers. In deciding what model of a particular product to buy, shoppers should inspect various types, the adviser suggested. One strategy is to go to a local store to do that — then buy it online, it was noted.

That’s crazy.

Today is Small Business Saturday, an annual event held every November. It falls after the big “Black Friday” sales many retailers use to get the Christmas shopping season off to a good start.

Not so many years ago, shoppers did not need to be reminded of the importance — not to mention the common sense — of patronizing local businesses. There was no internet.

Now, many people insist they’re just too busy to make the trip to local stores for Christmas shopping. It’s just so much easier to do it online, from the comfort of home.

Often, of course, the internet retailers’ prices are no bargains. Many gifts can be purchased for less at local stores.

And there’s no substitute for actually examining an item in person to decide whether it’s the best gift for that hard-to-please recipient. Can you touch, operate, smell, taste and really listen to gifts bought online? Of course not.

Then there’s the question of your neighbors. Thousands of them here in the Ohio Valley rely on local stores, directly or indirectly, for their jobs. Isn’t it worth going just a bit out of your way to support them?

Their employers pay local taxes, by the way. They support our schools, our towns and our counties. No one at the online retailers in California, New York or even other countries pays a dime to ensure our children and grandchildren have good schools.

Nor do the online retailers support the many worthy causes in our area. How many needy families enjoyed bountiful Thanksgiving repasts Thursday because of the generosity of local businesses? How many children will find toys they didn’t expect Santa to bring because of the same kind local store owners? How many youth soccer teams and basketball leagues are sponsored by them?

Any way you look at it, shopping at local stores makes sense.

Too busy?

Stop and think what happens when local stores aren’t busy enough.


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