Opinion — Support your community — shop at home

Published 5:30 pm Wednesday, November 24, 2021

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Black Friday – that “day” of super discount sales and long lines to match fill my mind with dread. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of a great deal as much as anyone, but huge crowds of people, the endless driving around and around in circles looking for a parking space, followed by stores packed with so many people it seems they suck the very oxygen out of the air. Once you find what you came looking for, if you were lucky enough that they were still available, it’s off to the checkout, a seemingly endless line that stretches in and around the aisles is not my idea of a good time. It’s enough to drive a sane person crazy.

Me, I’d prefer something a bit calmer and definitely more personal. There is an alternative, and it’s called Small Business Saturday. Officially a program of American Express, the idea is to shop at your locally, independently-owned small businesses on Saturday during the holiday weekend. There are many benefits to shopping local. First, you can find a parking space without driving around and around in circles. Seriously though, money spent at our local business supports our local economy and keeps our communities thriving. 

Where we live, shop and play is the very foundation of our community. When you spend money at the local bakery or dress shop, a lot of that money is used to purchase from other local businesses and so on and so on. Shopping local creates a domino effect that helps to support our community. Studies have also shown that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $64 stays in the local economy, creating jobs and expanding the city’s tax base. For every $100 spent at a national chain or franchise store, only $14 remains in the community.

We hope you will consider supporting your hometown newspaper this holiday season by buying someone on your shopping list a gift subscription to The Charlotte Gazette. You can purchase a a subscription on our website or call our office at (434) 394-0398.

Make a commitment to shop local on a regular basis. It’s good for you, your neighbor and your community. If your neighbor sells it, buy it! This holiday weekend of shopping frenzies, do yourself a favor; skip the crowds and the long lines and shop local. 

Betty J. Ramsey is the publisher of The Charlotte Gazette. Her email address is Betty.Ramsey@TheCharlotteGazette.com.