Michelle Balleck: Where memories are made | CraigDailyPress.com
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Michelle Balleck: Where memories are made

Michelle Balleck/For the Craig Daily Press

When I visited Craig, Colorado, for the first time in 2004, I just had to make a stop into The Giving Tree gift shop, as it was named after one of my favorite children’s books.

I marveled at the beautiful collectibles, unique jewelry and themed gifts that told the story of this place. I purchased a pair of moose-shaped earrings as I memento of my trip to interview for a job with the Craig Daily Press and of this town that I’ve now called my home for longer than any other place in my life.

I still have those earrings, and I still love to shop at The Giving Tree and other downtown stores. I bet we all have a story like that — whether it’s about childhood memories of a candy store, relying on a hardware store with the best customer service or a historic movie theater we love to frequent on Friday nights.

These locally owned businesses are the heart and soul of a town. They are what make a place feel like a true community where people want to live and work.

As we all scurry around doing our Christmas shopping, I ask that you remember those small businesses that make Moffat County great and give them a try. Shop local first and buy distinctive gifts that support the local shops that make our town a true community.

Did you know that studies show that for every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 returns to the community? That same $100 at a national chain only puts $43 back into our community. And that same $100 spent online leaves our community with no return.

Local business owners should also consider their spending this holiday season, and year-round. Small businesses need to support one another to keep our economy and our community strong.

Consider giving Spree Dollars — available at the Craig Chamber of Commerce, 360 E. Victory Way — that can be spent at nearly any Moffat County business as a thoughtful alternative to gift cards or employee bonuses.

The bottom line (economic pun intended) is that strengthening and growing our local economy starts with us, here at home. Give your local shops a try before traveling out of town or buying online. These are the stores where our memories are made.

Michelle Balleck is the executive director of Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership and Marianna Raftopoulos Business Success Center. She can be reached at 970-620-4370 or director@cmedp.com.Michelle Balleck is the executive director of Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership and Marianna Raftopoulos Business Success Center. She can be reached at 970-620-4370 or director@cmedp.com.Michelle Balleck is the executive director of Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership and Marianna Raftopoulos Business Success Center. She can be reached at 970-620-4370 or director@cmedp.com.


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