Editorial: Shop local to help our community's economy

  • File PhotoThe Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin last year handed out "Shop Small" bags filled with coupons for Small Business Saturday.

    File PhotoThe Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin last year handed out "Shop Small" bags filled with coupons for Small Business Saturday.

 
The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Posted11/29/2019 1:00 AM

Please put down your phone just for a moment, unless you're using it to read this editorial.

Sure, you may be able to find that elusive Baby Shark coloring book set for the kids or the snazzy new crossbody wallet for the woman on the go on Amazon.com with a few simple swipes of your finger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Nothing has been easier.

You won't even have to get out of your jammies or interrupt your snacking on Thanksgiving leftovers.

You know to look for these things because you're working off a holiday shopping list you've been given.

But where is the sport in that?

What happened to putting a little bit of yourself into gift-giving, of becoming inspired by the perfect gift you just come across as you walk into a big box store or a tiny locally owned shop?

We hope you'll put on some real clothes today and head out to do some commerce. Sort through the huge stack of sale ads from Thursday's Daily Herald and take them with you.

Today, of course, is Black Friday.

The annual holiday shopping extravaganza might have lost a bit of its luster in recent years with Cyber Monday and now pre-pre-Black Friday sales.

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But all of those are the preliminaries leading up to Black Friday, the Super Bowl of shopping.

We encourage you, of course, to save some of your dough to spend on the people in your communities who make their living as store and gallery owners.

Small Business Saturday comes next.

According to the 2018 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, 104 million shoppers spent a record high of $17.8 billion last year at local small business retailers on the day after Black Friday.

The number of shoppers was down 3.7 percent from the year before, but the amount of spending was a whopping 34 percent higher.

That is encouraging.

Consider, though, that Amazon Prime Day on July 15 generated sales of 175 million items. Amazon won't disclose the dollar value of them, but it included more than 100,000 laptop computers, 200,000 televisions, 300,000 pairs of headphones, 350,000 luxury beauty products and more than 1 million toys.

Shop owners need your support. Big box stores need your support. We're sure you see fewer of them around than you used to. And that means fewer local jobs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

It's not just good for business. It's good for maintaining the tax base in our communities.

It's good for keeping public services operating. It's good for keeping property tax bills under some sort of control.

So don't always take the easy route. Help your neighbor. Have more fun. Shop local.

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