Shopping locally helps community

Published 12:06am Friday, November 29, 2013

And they’re off! This morning marks the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season — OK for some stores which insisted on starting early it began last night, but you get our gist.

Today has been dubbed “Black Friday” for a number of years, signifying the date at which most retailers technically make a profit on the year and thus “go in the black.”

Unfortunately, the day has also become known for the unruliness displayed by some shoppers who are adamant about finding the “must have” toy of the year or the “rock bottom” price on a new flat screen TV.

But aside from wishing and hoping for a little more civility this year, we also pause to point out the importance of today, as well. The occasion is important because spending money is a huge part of the holiday tradition, but also a vital part of our local economy.

Through the years as our dependence on heavy industry has waned, the retail and service sectors have picked up the load in many parts of our community, meaning their importance to the community impacts the economy in a truly meaningful way.

Shopping locally is critically important to our economy.

Each dollar spent in a local store helps to employ local residents who in turn pay taxes that help fund local police and firefighting efforts, pay for schools and roads, too.

The American Express Company has tried to promote spending money locally with their Small Business Saturday promotion. It’s a good idea — particularly if you’re a company hoping to increase the number of fees you can collect off processing electronic payments.

We encourage anyone with a Christmas list to think and shop locally first. Doing so helps out the community and would make a wonderful Christmas gift to the area.