The holiday shopping season is upon us once again.
In the quest to find just the right gifts, seeking out bargains is part of the fun. During the current economic downturn, stretching those dollars budgeted for gift-giving is also a necessity for many people.
Nobody likes to waste money, but shoppers should give careful consideration to where the dollars they spend wind up. There are important reasons to opt for purchases at or through local merchants whenever possible. That makes good sense even if it isn't always the absolutely cheapest option.
Keeping area businesses thriving is more than just a matter of convenience. These enterprises help keep life good here for all of us by providing jobs, supporting local charitable endeavors and, of course, paying taxes that help support schools and important government services.
It's also the case that local merchants often offer products that are uniquely representative of our state and region. Such gifts can turn out to be especially memorable. Additionally, since the folks who staff local commercial enterprises are our friends and neighbors, they are likely to be especially helping when shopping advice is needed.
Everyone who lives here has a stake in this community's well-being. Supporting local businesses during the holidays - and all year round - is good for your hometown's future - and yours.