EDITORIAL: Shopping local just makes a lot of cents

Supporting your local business is more than just a concept.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are passed, but we are still going to be bombarded for at least the rest of this month with advertisements for great deals south of the border.

These have both become important shopping days here at home as retailers struggle to compete with the giant that these days have become in the U.S. holiday economy. Whether it was commercials announcing “amazing deals” on the day following the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, or news reports on the crazy shopping sprees, stampedes and altercations that occur across North America, Black Friday always seems to capture the consumer spotlight.

It’s really such a shame. While everyone enjoys a deal now and then, Black Friday has become a symbol of greed. And shoppers being pushed, shoved, and trampled in the rush to spend aren’t the only ones hurt by these kind of events. As millions of Canadians headed across the border, local, community businesses were also dealt a financial blow. Dollars spent across the line is money taken out of our community. Local shops and services — be it a specialty store, restaurant, or others — lose business every year during these shopping frenzies.

Supporting your local business is more than just a concept. It actually helps make the local economy, and therefore the community, stronger. All business is out to make a profit, but spending money locally is one small way to ensure your community continues to thrive. Then too, there are all the hidden costs for travelling to shop. Gas for your vehicle, food, unexpected purchases, perhaps an overnight stay, all add up to making these deals less of a savings than they might seem.

Ask yourself, who sponsors your child’s sports team? It’s doubtful that a big box store in the U.S. is the correct answer. Who sponsors community events? Who makes donations to local charities and causes? Local businesses help support the community and the community should support them back. All things to consider the next time you are tempted to chase after an out-of-town deal during this holiday season.

-Black Press