Shop local!

Keeping your spending dollars in your hometown, or at least in the region, has immense benefits on the local economy.

Even companies as large as American Express are touting the importance of shopping local. The company started the now well-known Small Business Saturday — the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the day after Black Friday — in 2010 to promote small businesses. Just last year, a study reported an estimated $5.5 billion was spent at small businesses on that day in 2012!

A vibrant and successful local business community has a trickle-down effect on our own pockets. Just think:

• Successful local businesses make other businesses want to locate in our town.

• More businesses equals more ratables, which, in turn, lowers our taxes.

• The more ratables we have, and the lower our taxes are, the more attractive our community becomes to future residents.

It all starts with you. If you have a choice between buying a gift at a big box store or a local mom-and-pop, support your neighbors by making that purchase locally.

Our small businesses are already struggling with a still-rebounding economy and a holiday shopping season that is six days shorter than normal. Let’s all help them out by opening their doors and opening our wallets to them. We can make it a truly happy holiday season.

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