Editorial: Shopping local makes a difference

In this season of gift shopping, don't forget that local purchases boost the local economy

Online shopping may have become too easy. Remember when shopping online was first introduced?

Not only did they want your credit information, it was just such a maze of buttons and forms that all but the most dedicated were left frustrated.

The concept isn’t new. For those whose memories stretch a bit farther back, there was catalogue shopping with Eatons or Sears. Remember waiting for the Christmas Wish book to arrive, filled with pictures of all those toys and clothes, everything you could wish for.

Those days are gone. It’s as simple now as telling your Amazon Echo what you need and letting it order for you.

We’re not going to turn back time on technology, but we can point out the convenience of online shopping comes at a cost: personal service, the shopping experience, discovering the perfect item you didn’t know you wanted and more.

When was the last time your computer — or a faceless clerk in a store 1,000 kilometres way — pointed out that a different item might be more suitable? Or helped you put that toy together when the instructions stopped making sense? Or went out of their way to help find a book that was out of stock?

Those connections are as much a part of the shopping experience as being able to look over items, hold them in your hands, before deciding to make a purchase.

Shopping local supports our community. Purchases you make locally generate jobs, and many, many business owners regard giving back to the community as a responsibility, not an option.

They support local teams, they support events like the Peach Festival, they contribute to the city in myriad ways.

So before you click on that purchase button this season, try out the local shopping experience and see if you can’t find that item right here at home. You may be surprised.