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Shopping local makes difference

While we have left the Halloween holiday in the rear view mirror, in the spirit of all those traveling the roadways over the next month and a half, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the next two exits.

For me, it seems like the year has flown by, and it seems like just yesterday the region was gearing up for holiday shopping for gifts and groceries for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for 2014.

This week alone, I have seen a variety of posts on the Internet and social media about the deals at the big-box retailers who look for new ways each year to sell the latest toys, tools, automobiles or technology. It is certainly easy to get excited about all the great deals, but local retailers have some great deals of their own.

As we have done for several years, The Tribune encourages residents to make it a priority to shop locally. While I understand it can be more convenient to sit on the couch and order something online, it is important to keep those dollars local.

I will be the first to tell you that there are certainly cases where a specific item can only be found at a national retailer, but there are many occasions where those items can be found at local retailers after taking a little bit of time and looking around.

Another idea is to be creative when shopping for gifts and give a gift certificate for a local hair salon or barber shop, restaurant, jewelry store, hardware store, car dealer or find that special item at a local craft store.

This is also true for our local grocery stores, as most of the items you need for those favorite family “fixins” for the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables can be found there. Many times, our local grocers use products from other local businesses rather than trucking in products from other regions across the United States or international location.

This isn’t in any way meant to say don’t shop at those national retailers because they are an important part of our community as well. They provide much needed jobs that are relied on for residents to provide for their families along with helping our communities’ youth and civic programs.

This is simply meant to remind everyone also to help support our local businesses. Ultimately, support for our local retailers could be the difference between being open for business or closing the doors.

Often overlooked is the important need for those organizations whose sole purpose is to help those in need. Instead of buying that extra set of lights that will ultimately sit in a box or closet, use that extra money to help support one of these food pantries or organizations.

It is heart warming to see the big smile on a child’s face when they realize that Santa has come, but it can be just as important to be a quasi Santa Claus for that local business or organization and make the holidays a little brighter for everyone in our community.

 

Josh Morrison is the general manager at The Tribune. To reach him, call 740-532-1441 ext. 16 or by email at josh.morrison@irontontribune.com.