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Support small businesses

Small Business Saturday is this weekend. The campaign encourages people to take advantage of local, independent shops, showing that a concerted effort to do so boosts each community’s economy.

As you might imagine, we support this idea wholeheartedly. We hope Small Business Saturday, begun by American Express, eventually gains the level of fame of Black Friday. Please, shop locally as much as you can for your Christmas gifts this year.

If you want to crank up your stress level for the holidays, shop in congested areas like malls and big-box shopping centers. If you don’t mind being cold and impersonal, knock off your gift list online.

But if you’re looking for a festive ambiance, if you want gifts you can’t get elsewhere, if you want your gifts and your experience of buying them to have extra meaning, and if you want to add to your local economy instead of subtract from it, why not shop at local stores and craft fairs?

Surprisingly, you might find better prices. Not surprisingly, you might find better quality, better customer service and shorter lines.

Money you spend on the Internet or out of town leaves your community; it’s an economic drain for your area. But every dollar you give a local merchant stays here and is recirculated, usually multiple times. Cumulatively, that maintains and improves the number and variety of local jobs, as well as of local businesses.

Small businesses help uphold our community, employ our families, chip in toward our taxes and support our youth sports teams, schools, arts and other worthy causes.

And you can get fantastic gifts from them, too. Try it; you’ll see.

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