Try to keep that shopping local

Thanksgiving officially marks the start of the holiday season for many in this country. It’s that five-week slice of time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s that fills the airlines, boosts the sales at grocery stores and gives retail stores the influx of cash that helps carry them through the hard times. And, let’s face it, the nation’s economy has seen some hard times as of late.

Good times or bad, we will get out there and spend money this time of year. It’s about picking up that perfect gift for a loved one, bringing a toothy grin to a child when he or she unwraps that special gift or simply finding the right present for the person you work with every day, every week of every month.

We shop for the holidays. It’s what we do.

Well, we’re asking all of you to do as much shopping locally this year as possible. We know there are select items that people specifically ask for that you just can’t find locally, and that’s fine. But give the local stores a chance, and you might find more gifts for loved ones than you expected.

Times are tough, and, yes, they are tough for the big national stores, as well. But very few of us have enough money or good will to spend everywhere.

When in doubt, shop local.

Part of what makes this community so unique are the local restaurants and shops. They stand out because they offer something different than the norm. But a tough economy is putting a strain on many local businesses, and it’s up to those of us who live here year-round to keep them operating and preserve some of the uniqueness we enjoy.

The money you spend locally largely stays local. The employees keep their pay circulating throughout the area, and the owners funnel a good bit of their profits both into other local stores and restaurants, and donations to many local non-profit organizations.

It’s how the economy stays somewhat pertinent during the offseason, and how so many positive things are able to be accomplished on the charitable front.

The staff of the Coastal Point wishes all of you a very happy Thanksgiving and coming holiday season. Now, cross those items off your lists locally.