|Shop local for the holidays and keep our economy strong|
|Written by Christopher Fox Graham|
|Wednesday, 04 December 2013 00:00|
With Thanksgiving coming late this year, we have less time to shop for holiday gifts. Christmas comes nearly a week sooner due to the late Thanksgiving.
Through a quirk in the Gregorian and Jewish calendars, Hanukkah fell on Thanksgiving itself — something that won’t happen again for more than 75,000 years, meaning Jewish holiday shoppers are already done for the season.
Thankfully, we didn’t see local retail stores turn into violent madhouses on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that traditionally marks the first day of holiday shopping. The Internet often erupts with videos, photos and news stories of assaults, accidents and occasionally deaths as shoppers across the country scramble for the best deals.
The Verde Valley is a small place, and our residents a little more sane. The huge deals at midnight on Thanksgiving will be there a few days later, so no need to break bones — yours or others’.
The best places to find great deals for the holidays, as well as one-of-a-kind gifts, are local.
I have always been a shopping procrastinator, but found some of my best gifts just down the street or across town, rather than at the faceless, big box stores in Phoenix or online.
It’s also a good idea to keep our money local, supporting small business owners and the economy of the Verde Valley. Our economy is only as strong as we choose to make it.
Sales taxes in our community may come in part from visitors’ purchases, but during the winter, many local businesses struggle. Others are wholly dependent on locals to stay afloat and successful. Every year, we publish stand-alone Gift Guides inserted into our newspapers and multiple pages advertising holiday specials inside our regular papers, highlighting local merchants and their deals.
Buying jewelry, toys, practical items or knickknacks from a local vendor means their employees and owners can stay open and buy gifts for their children, friends and families, keeping the cyclical transfer of local money alive and well. Every holiday gift purchase made with a vendor online across the country or at a store outside the Verde Valley means profits go somewhere else — and sales tax revenue is used to repair roads or improve municipal services in a community we don’t live in.
Residents step up to do their part, so businesses take it upon themselves to offer products locals want to purchase. Merchants challenge themselves to keep fresh inventory and offer items for locals — as well as locals’ out-of-town friends and families.
If merchants and locals commit to creating an inviting local shopping atmosphere and staying here to shop, the entire Verde Valley will receive the gift of a stronger economy.
Christopher Fox Graham
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