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Shopping locally benefits everyone

It seems like the holiday shopping season begins a little bit sooner every year than it did the year before.

Whether or not that is true, it sure does seem that way.

Stores were advertising specials, playing holiday music and Christmas lights were going up before Halloween.

Whether you are an early shopper or a wait-until-the-last-minute procrastinator, we encourage our readers to shop locally as much as they possibly can.

The holiday shopping season can make or break many retail businesses.

It simply makes sense to shop locally.

By keeping your shopping dollars at home, you support local businesses by bolstering the economy and growing the community.

Every dollar spent locally represents an investment in the future of our community.

There are very few things on any shopping list that cannot be purchased somewhere in the county.

We have wonderfully diverse shops, big box retailers and restaurants, so there is no good reason to travel out of town for holiday shopping.

Local businesses have a great tradition of giving back to the community.

As they do well, they donate back to local nonprofits, charities, schools and churches.

Supporting those businesses, supports all those organizations, institutions and agencies.

Furthermore, the better established businesses within the county do financially, the more attractive doing business in our county looks to would-be entrepreneurs and major retailers.

Sometimes we hear people complain about the way the retail community has changed, about the businesses that have closed or the things they would like to have available that are not here.

Complaining doesn’t change things.

Shopping at home, however, can be an agent for change.

When you shop in the county, you are helping to create jobs, fund local infrastructure and government services through your sales tax dollars and are helping to incubate further community development.

Entrepreneurship is the backbone of the middle class, the catalyst for economic growth and in many ways, the character of a community.

Shopping out of town, may seem like a bargain, but when you consider the cost of fuel, the time spent driving, the aggravation of traffic — not to even mention the bait and switch tactics of out-of-town retailers that entice you with offers that often are no where to be found — it may not be the bargain it seems to be.

We encourage our readers to support local businesses.

Nov. 30 is small business Saturday, so support the many great small businesses located within our county.

Of course, we also encourage readers to support our advertising partners, who through their advertising demonstrate their beliefs in a growing economy and commitment to the community as a whole as they grow their local businesses.

Shopping locally is good for everyone, except, of course, for those out-of-town retailers that contribute nothing back to our community.