You guessed it; only 111 shopping days left until Christmas. Some have probably already started making their lists. I am fairly certain that there are those who already have a list of what they need to buy, as well as the lists of what the youngsters are hoping they find under the tree. I’d like to encourage everyone to please try and buy at least one thing on their list from a local business that they might not have otherwise planned to.
There are lots of perfectly understandable reasons to go online and make our purchases; the time it can save, perhaps the expense of the gas, and maybe even the upfront savings on the purchase price. But I would suggest that there are also as many good reasons to shop local if you can. Those online businesses and websites can often times save us a few bucks on the front end, but what does is cost us on down the road? Let me know if any of those online websites ever sponsor your children’s ball team or let you sell Girl Scout Cookies outside their front door. So far, I have never seen their sign on the outfield fence at the ball park or their logo on the dance team program at one of our local schools or let us use their parking lot for an organization’s benefit car wash. I’ve never seen them donate an item to our charity event silent auctions or sponsor an event in the park.
Without the opportunity to capture those precious sales tax dollars our city is forced to limit the services it can provide us. And those lost sales mean that the local businesses do not have the income necessary to hire our friends and neighbors who are looking for jobs. And as long as those who want to work in our community are going without jobs, the less they have to spend in our local economy. I can certainly understand the need to make the very best out of every dime. To do otherwise makes no sense at all.
So, I have a suggestion for this year’s shopping; ask. That’s right, take just a minute and actually ask the small business owner who has the same or very similar products if they can match the price or at least come close enough to earn your business. Shipping an issue? Maybe the local business owner will actually deliver it to you at very little or no cost? Frankly, it was painful for me to watch a local family-owned business shutter their doors this past weekend (more on that next week) after serving our community so well for the last 35 years. If you would like the contact information for many, many local businesses wanting to earn your business, check out the Chamber website and simply search the directory for what you are looking for. From “Art to Wireless” and lots of great stuff in between, your community has much to offer. Thanks in advance for at least giving them a chance!