11/26/10 — Shop local first: Their success really is tied to county's future growth, health

View Archive

Shop local first: Their success really is tied to county's future growth, health

There are plenty of places to shop today and every day as Americans prepare for another Christmas season.

And no one is saying that you have committed a sin if you need to travel out of town to look for an item someone on your holiday gift list has to have.

But as you prepare your list and check it twice this holiday season, think about checking with local merchants first.

There are many reasons to shop local -- not the least of which is that money spent here benefits those who live here in the form of salaries, taxes and other positive outcomes like economic development.

But sometimes, believe it or not, some of the best values and most unique gift ideas come from local businesses.

The health of any community is usually measured by the stability of its small businesses. Although industrial interests are important, many of the jobs that employ local people are created by the small businesses that grace the roll of the chamber of commerce.

Healthy businesses that are growing and adding employees reflect a healthy, vibrant community. And when their balance sheets have more black than red, those same businesses have more money to give back to the community.

Stop and think about how many times you see the names of local businesses in ads announcing sponsorships and contributions.

Local business owners make it a point to support the local charities and other causes in their communities. In return, those communities should support those same businesses when it is time for holiday gift-buying.

But it is not all one-sided, either.

Local businesses have an obligation, too.

They should be competitive -- and provide good service and the other attributes it takes to earn the loyalty of local customers.

This has not been the easiest year for business owners and consumers alike. The roller coaster economy has left a lot of people reeling as they try to balance daily expenses with their precarious paychecks.

This Christmas, let's form a partnership -- we shop local and businesses promise to offer the best deals and service they possibly can.

Then, everybody wins.

Published in Editorials on November 26, 2010 10:42 AM