Are you still shopping for the holidays? What a ridiculous question! Of course you are! And no doubt you have heard the “buy-local” messages that have been so prevalent this year. So, as if you needed them, here are a few reasons to do your shopping with local merchants. Make everyone’s holiday season a little brighter, right here at home!
-Practicality and convenience. First, you usually can see the item before you buy it to make sure it’s perfect. And then consider that your time and car expense can be saved by shopping locally. If you need to return it, you can avoid the hassle of packaging and shipping it to get it back to the store. You save time by not having to drive long distances to exchange or facilitate the return. Need to make a special request? In a small business, the decisions are made locally; no waiting for “management” in some other location to decide if your concern warrants attention.
-Environmental reasons. Not driving all over the place saves fuel and cuts down on air pollution. You also eliminate the wasteful packaging (Styrofoam peanuts, plastic wrap, etc.) that comes with items you order online and have sent to you.
-Community support. I have to admit, this is my favorite reason. It has been reported that a locally owned business returns approximately 80 percent of each dollar spent back to the community, and your dollars spent in locally owned businesses have three times the effect on our community as dollars spent at national chains. Your dollars are kept in your community. This creates more commerce and more jobs here. Likewise, local stores pay taxes and in doing so help support a stronger infrastructure in the area. Many local merchants support your fundraisers and community events, but they need your consumer support in order to continue to do so. Remember that you shouldn’t complain about the schools, the roads, and local services if you don’t support your local businesses.