EDITORIAL: Remember to support your local businesses, today and all year long

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Categories: Editorial, Opinion

That small business downtown isn’t some faceless corporation in some far away place doling out your hard-earned dollars to wealthy stockholders.

It’s your neighbor.

It’s your child’s best friend’s father or mother.

That money you spend there isn’t going to China. It’s going to your local government so it can plow roads and fix broken water pipes. It’s going to your local school district so our children can have band and sports. It’s going to your local Little League team, your local food pantry, your local everything.

It’s being invested right back where it came from. Out of every $100 spent at a small local business, $70 is returned to the community compared to the $40 returned by big corporations.

And when these small businesses suffer, our communities suffer.

The covid crisis has affected us all financially, and small businesses that rely on local customers to provide foot traffic have been particularly impacted by quarantines and mandated closures and limits on capacity and hours of operation.

So it’s vitally important to them and to everyone in our communities that we support them, particularly at this time of year when they have an opportunity to make up for lost business over the year.

Throughout the nation, including in our area, today is Small Business Saturday, a day that reminds us to invest locally by shopping locally.

Today’s a great day to visit your downtown or local business district for holiday gifts or for something for yourself.

Businesses will be offering special sales and special discounts. Visit your local Chamber of Commerce website or local business district Facebook page for where to find the deals. Or just head over and see what’s going on in person.

If you’re understandably hesitant about dining out in a local restaurant, buy a gift certificate now and plan to use it later when you feel comfortable. Get information on local business websites and perhaps get your item delivered.

Finally, remember today to honor the limitations on building capacity. And don’t be one of those jerks who gives the staff a hard time about having to wear a mask inside their store. Masks are required, and you can bear it for a few minutes while you browse. Also remember to wear your mask outside and try to maintain social distancing when passing people on crowded sidewalks.

Once you rediscover shopping small in your local community, remember that your locally owned small businesses need your patronage not just during the holiday season, but all year long.

Make it a practice, starting today.

You’ll get great gifts and you’ll be helping your neighbors and your community.

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