With all we have been through since Hurricane Michael changed all of our lives here in Seminole County on October the 10th, it’s hard to believe that the holiday season officially arrives next week. As we begin the stressful time of shopping for that perfect gift, let’s make a serious effort – this year more so than ever before – to start and finish our holiday shopping right here at home. We survived the hurricane by leaning on each other’s shoulder and working together and that’s the same attitude we need to take into the holiday season. Our business owners are our neighbors and our friends. Let’s support them more than ever this year and make the glow of community spirit and support continue to shine brightly through the holidays and beyond.
Dollars spent out of town are gone forever, while dollars spent here at home are recirculated to the benefit of our community. Property and sales taxes from local businesses are essential for tax financing of our schools and other government services.
Local businesses support and finance local causes, programs and projects. Their owners and employees, our friends and our neighbors, work for our PTOs, service and civic clubs and community organizations – and they deserve our support.
Local buying is the primary way we can improve the economy and the social infrastructure that serves our community. When supported by local residents, businesses can draw buyers from other communities, partially offsetting the outflow of dollars when local people shop elsewhere.
A strong shop-at-home mentality can translate into better prices and selections in local stores and a strong economy serving everyone.
We can curtail costly, inconvenient trips out of town; we can use the Internet for research, then take those results to a trusted local business that knows who we are and carries our preferred products.
One week from Friday is Black Friday, the biggest shop out-of-town day of the year. But the day after, Saturday, November 24, is touted as Small Business Saturday, a national campaign expressing the message – “On November 24, shop small at your favorite local stores and help fuel the economy. When we all shop small, it can become really huge.”
Small, locally owned businesses are a vital life force for our community. Supporting them is in our best interest, during the holiday season and year-round.
We should have a bias for buying locally-produced goods and services from locally-owned businesses that keep their profits at home. That isn’t always possible, of course, but understanding that concept leads to an increased effort to do so.
The Donalsonville, Iron City and Seminole County marketplace includes many fine businesses offering a wide selection of gift ideas for everyone on your list. If you commit to shopping local by thinking local, your gift giving ideas will be stimulated.
Give gift certificates to a hair salon or barber, to a local gym or for an auto detail job. Mow a lawn for the Summer or take someone for a game of golf. Give the gift of an oil change, a cleaning day or a computer tune-up; consider local artwork or gift certificates from any of our fine Seminole County merchants. Be creative, and as I stated earlier, you can find a gift for everyone on your list right here in Seminole County.
Let’s make spending choices that show we care about our local businesses; choices that encourage our local businesses to keep plugging away, to keep hiring and to keep contributing to our hometown’s success. When we care about our neighbors and their businesses and turn that caring into action, the benefits will come back to us in ways we can’t even imagine. We have seen that compassion and caring exhibited over and over on so many occasions since October 10th.
Let’s continue to work together in our recovery by shopping locally and making the holiday season jingle loudly and shine brightly for all of us! Happy shopping in Seminole County!
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