When shopping buy local first

November 21, 2013

See related column A6

In just over a week, it’ll be Black Friday. With its onset and the official start to the holiday season, we know shoppers will be out in droves, searching for bargains, shifting into Christmas present-buying high gear. It will be the start of the holiday shopping season.

We hope, as do members of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce, that as you prepare that Christmas list and begin to search for those gifts, holiday snacks and party favors that you not only think local first, but that you buy local first.

In fact, we hope the buying has is a continuous of what we do all year, making a visit to local businesses part of our every week, if not every day, routine. We certainly encourage residents to make their purchases at home as often as they can no matter what time of year it is.

Supporting our community and supporting local business helps us all, and given that there will be things we buy, why not look out our own back door first?

There’s no question we are still wrangling with a sluggish economy, and while there are good show signs of improvement, the impact of those financially slow times can be felt on every level.

While everyone is still looking for ways to cut back, there are certain things many will continue to do, like shop for groceries and clothes and purchasing those Christmas gifts either for our children or for those less fortunate children through a variety of charitable gift-giving opportunities.

It is our hope that for all those purchases, and so many others, we will look to local businesses first, keeping our money in the hands of our friends and neighbors, those who are most loyal to us.

There’s really no reason not to do all of our shopping within the confines of our county. After all, there’s little we can need or want that we can’t find right here in Clinton or Sampson County.

If you’re looking for a car or truck, start with one of the dealerships right here in our midst. They have the same, if not better, quality service and products, and you will be helping the local economy.

If you’re looking for jewelry, clothing or toys, they’re all here, too, anything you could possibly want. There’s no need to scan the Internet or shop from a catalogue, when most, if not all, the items you might want to purchase can be found right here. And, again, purchasing locally means funneling our money, which we would spend anyway, back into our local economy.

Groceries, furniture, appliances, electronics, computers, flowers, and a plethora of other gifts, are within our grasp, right here in our midst. We don’t even have to cross the county line to find the things on our shopping list.

While we aren’t trying to tell anyone how to live their lives or spend their money, we are encouraging you to at least think local before hopping in the car to head out of town to purchase the very things that can be found right here in Clinton or Sampson County.

The money we are fortunate enough to be able to use would be well spent at home, fueling tax revenues for our county and towns and providing a jump-start to local businesses that just might need it. We believe strongly in loyalty and returning loyalty to those who give it. Our local merchants do that nearly every day, giving to schools, chairtable organizations and clubs, touching the lives of nearly every resident through their generosity.

Returning that loyalty by way of frequenting their businesses seems an appropriate show of thanks, something that has always made our community so strong.

From downtown Clinton and the city’s local shopping centers to small town stores in all our municipalities, there are opportunities to find what we need and purchase it. Doing so could very well make a difference in a business’ economic future and, in turn, our own.

So start today, shop locally and, what’s more, buy local first.