Editorial: Shopping local has never been so important

Check off your gift-giving list and support your neighbors, too

Has there been a more important year to shop local for the holidays?

COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges for our local mom-and-pop shops. Months with little to no income during the quarantine resulted in some businesses having to permanently close their doors. Restaurants have struggled to keep serving customers amid constantly changing state protocols. 

Our local business owners – our own neighbors – are struggling, and we can help by keeping our dollars local when shopping this holiday season.

With downtown districts, vibrant Main Streets and specialty stores sprinkled about, it is easy to check off your gift-giving list – and even check it twice! Take advantage of free holiday parking, grab a peppermint mocha at a favorite local coffee joint and embark on a shopping sojourn while putting your dollars back into the local economy. 

Who wouldn’t appreciate a free meal from that popular Italian restaurant downtown? Easy – a gift card gets the job done. What about a seasonal bouquet from your town’s florist? Everyone needs a centerpiece for their holiday table. A one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry? Specialty stationery? A new collar for Fido? Check, check and check again.

Not comfortable shopping in person right now? Not a problem! You’ll be amazed how many local shops and restaurants now offer ways to shop on websites and social media pages, in addition to offering curbside pickup. 

It’s the season of gift-giving, after all, and shopping local doesn’t only support your neighbors, but also will give you the thoughtful gifts your friends and family will remember for years to come!

What are some of your favorite local shops for holiday gifts? Let us know in a letter to the editor.