Shop local and help local businesses thrive

Fervent shoppers heard the annual whistle call this week for Black Friday craziness. With the advent of online shopping, the giant mall rush that traditionally kicks off the holiday season isn’t quite what it used to be, but it’s still a very busy time of year at the brick-and-mortar establishments.

We’re hearing about a COVID winter surge, but you can expect that kind of news to stick around for many years to come. Point is, shoppers are out and about now that the table is clear and the turkey is in the fridge, feeling frisky—despite the pending doom of recession—and ready to give our local stores, especially the mom and pops, the holiday boost they need.

In this day and age of one-click, online shopping and the infinite choice that it brings, we want to remind our readers to try to shop small this holiday season.

What does that mean?

It means paying a visit to some of the many small businesses right here in our community, touching and feeling what they have to offer and hopefully making a purchase.

Full disclosure: Mom and pop businesses are the lifeblood of the Acorn’s advertising. Without their support, our family-owned publishing group wouldn’t be possible, which is why we try to encourage readers to shop local.

We know that the success of these businesses is integral to the quality of life that makes our communities special.

Many small-business owners live on the same streets and send their kids to the same schools as we do. They care about city happenings and are usually the ones who lead the Chamber of Commerce discussions and contribute their hard-earned dollars to local service organizations. Chances are, the proprietor will get to know you on a firstname basis, whereas if you venture online you’re lucky to even speak to a human.

Small-business owners provide jobs for residents within our community, often for students. Their tax dollars contribute to our schools, parks and public safety. They are the ones who help support local youth sports teams.

And don’t just shop local. Dine local. There are many new and exciting restaurants ready to offer great food and service.

In short, the lifeblood of the local business scene is right around the corner—it’s a small shop fronted by an owner with a big heart.

It’s true: E-commerce companies have revolutionized the way consumers buy. During the holidays, everything from dolls to doughnuts can be dropped off at your front door. More than half of all holiday purchases are conducted online.

But let’s not forget old-school. It’s invigorating to go to the local malls and city centers where the lights are bright, the coffee’s warm and the shelves are decorated festively.

Tell a fellow shopper “happy holidays” while you’re there.