Out of My Mind 19

Shop local: Morethan just a motto

It’s hard to believe, but Christmas is just around thecorner – at least that’s what the TV ads would have us believe – of course theystarted their campaigns around Halloween.

Anyway, as we finish up, or in my case start, to do our Christmasshopping, let’s remember to patronize our local merchants first before we headto Wenatchee, Spokane, Seattle or the Internet. There are still lots of gooddeals to be had right here at home and shopping locally comes with customerservice and people who stand behind their products. There is real value inbeing able to work directly with the people who help you decide on what to buyfor your friends and loved ones – people who aren’t just trying to sell yousomething for the commission or to meet some kind of sales goal. Returningitems is also often much simpler when your dealing with people you know. AtChristmas time many of our merchants offer free or reduced gift-wrapping too.Try to get that on Amazon or Overstock.

I’m not saying Internet shopping doesn’t have its place. Forme with a brother (it was nice to see Michael at Thanksgiving by the way),sister-in-law, nephew and niece living on the Isle of Gurnsey in the EnglishChannel, it’s Amazon UK, or buy and ship it overseas myself. In this case I’drather avoid dealing with international shipping, by the time I get my shoppingdone I’m usually paying for expedited shipping for them anyway.

Perhaps the most important reason to shop locally – whetherit’s Christmas presents, tires or groceries, is the money stays here – it helpsto pay the salaries of your friends and neighbors, who in turn are likely tospend their money in the community as well. In addition, the things we buy athome bring in sales taxes that are used by the cities and county to provide theservices we rely on them for.

 ”Shop Local” is notjust a motto, it’s our way of paying back the community that means so much tous. During this holiday season don’t forget your local merchants, restaurantsand other businesses.