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Think, shop and buy local

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

It’s that time again when we all start thinking about gift buying for the holidays. But before you start your holiday shopping, we want you to take a moment to think, shop and buy local.

We know you’ve heard this before, but we want you to understand how important our small businesses are to the vitality of our community and that everyone can help improve the economic health of the community.

Buying local is the right choice for our schools, our families and for our community. Help us keep our community strong. Invest in our locally owned businesses and keep your money in our town!

Years ago we shopped and supported the people we knew. No questions asked, we just did because they were our neighbor, our friend or just someone who lived down the street. We need to get back to the way it was when we supported each other just because we are members of the same community. It worked then, and it certainly can work for us again.

Five reasons to shop local:

1. Shopping local creates jobs. Shops in our town create local employment and self-employment. These people in turn spend in the local economy.

2. Local independent shops invest more in our community. Local businesses are proportionally more generous in their support of local charities, schools and community events. So supporting local shops means a financial contribution to your community.

3. Shopping local strengthens our community. People don’t like losing shops and services in small towns but don’t equate this with how they spend their money.

4. Shopping local retains our distinctiveness. Independent shops create distinctive shopping experiences and stock different products. Local businesses respond more quickly to the needs of local customers, stocking products to meet changing population needs.

5. Shopping local saves services. Private and public sector services cluster around shops. As shops disappear so do hairdressers, banks, restaurants and other businesses.

Consumers can pledge to think, shop and buy local and commit to patronizing businesses near where they live and work. Local stores employ your neighbors, pay taxes that support your schools and improve your roads, and contribute to local nonprofit groups.

Together we can strengthen relationships that improve our quality of life.

Next time, before you make a purchase – Think, Shop and Buy Local.

• Rose Treml is executive director of the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce.

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