12/09/08 — Hometown reward: Want to know why you should consider buying local?

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Hometown reward: Want to know why you should consider buying local?

It is not going to be a particularly easy Christmas season for retailers this year.

With many people spooked about the economy and where we are going as a country, there aren't too many shoppers rushing out to buy big for the holiday season.

So, this year, particularly, it really matters where you put your money.

There is always lots of talk about supporting local merchants and keeping your dollars here at home -- in most cases as a way to support your local economy and to encourage more business investment here.

And those are good reasons.

But here's another.

Look at the list of donations that have been made to many local charities and organizations over the past year. Look at the backs of the Little League uniforms or the "sponsored by" lines on the bottom of your high school's athletic program or those of other community events.

You won't see national chains or businesses you might encounter on the Internet -- for the most part.

Local small businesses are the lifeblood of this community because of the people they employ and the dollars they bring in, but they are also some of its biggest charitable supporters.

Their dollars are the ones that are making a difference right here at home -- every day.

There are also national merchants located here who give back, too. They bring huge payrolls here and also give money to support local causes. They deserve your support, too.

No one can tell you where to shop this holiday season -- and no one should. Families have to budget their money the best they know how.

But if you have benefited from the generosity of a local merchant this year through a donation to an organization or group you care about, return the favor. If you can buy locally, consider doing so.

This is the time to pay back the kindness.

After all, we are all in this together.

And keeping our local economy strong is critical -- for all of us.

Published in Editorials on December 9, 2008 11:16 AM