Editorial: Keep those holiday dollars at home
Welcome to Black Friday, that annual exercise in shopping madness characterized by people arising at the crack of dawn to ensure a good place in line for all the post-Thanksgiving bargains to be had.
We hope at least some of you are foregoing this American ritual in favor of one more day of family, friends and fellowship, but for those of you who plan to be out there in the trenches to get an early leg-up on your Christmas shopping, we encourage you to spend at least some of those Black Friday dollars here at home.
We’ve become accustomed to hearing the mantra “Shop Local” along about this time every year, but no matter how often we hear it, the message remains important.
To put it simply, spending our dollars at home keeps those dollars at home, working to make our corner of Northwest Colorado a little better place to live and work.
We say this for a few reasons.
• Shopping locally represents an investment in the community. When you travel out of town to shop or when you make purchases online, the sales taxes you pay go to support other communities, some of which are not even located in our state. When you shop locally, you not only contribute to the local sales tax base, you support jobs for local residents, who, in turn, will spend most of the dollars they earn locally, further bolstering our economy.
• All things considered, shopping locally is sometimes the best bargain. While prices at local businesses can often be bested through online outlets or at businesses in larger cities, when you factor in shipping expenses and the extra costs associated with out-of-town shopping excursions, a big part of that “savings” quickly evaporates. Further, when you shop locally, you are also purchasing service after the sale, which is often not as readily available — if available at all — when patronizing out-of-town businesses and websites.
• Shopping locally strengthens the community as a whole. Consider the amount of time, effort and money small business owners contribute through donations to nonprofits and other organizations, donations that would not be possible if not for local shoppers shopping locally. Small businesses are asked almost daily to donate time, money or materials to some local project or group, and they seldom say “no.” So, shopping locally is a major part of the glue that binds our town together — it isn’t just the coalmines and power plants that keep us strong.
And, while we encourage shoppers to keep in mind the impact they can have by supporting local businesses, store owners in Craig can also make an effort to better meet the needs of those shoppers, and many are doing just that.
The Downtown Business Association is hosting a Small Business Saturday Progressive Breakfast on Saturday, Nov 25. Stores will open at 7 a.m., offering great specials and tremendous bargains. For example, MJK’s 22nd Annual Customer Appreciation Sale begins at 7 a.m. Saturday, and Miller Family Appliance (now located in the old MJK building on Ranney Street) and Victory Motors are both holding crazy Black Friday Specials. These are but a few of the many local stores that will be offering Black Friday and Small Business Saturday specials.
We understand that consumers must first be responsible with regard to their own finances, but we encourage local shoppers to make sure that, when they choose to shop out of town, they are truly getting the best deal, overall.
Shopping locally puts tax dollars back into the local economy and provides jobs for local residents, residents who will spend most of their earnings in the local economy.
Maybe you can buy it cheaper online, but when you choose instead to shop locally, you’re investing in our community and making a difference for all of us.