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Support local merchants this holiday season

December 7, 2011
Westfield Republican
To judge by crowds thronging local stores in search of bargains on “Black

Friday” and Saturday, many folks in the Chautauqua region are in search of

perfect gifts at reasonable prices.

Here, then, is the hot tip for holiday shopping: Do it right here at home, patronizing Chautauqua and Cattaraugus businesses.

Shopping at home offers other advantages not available through Internet or phone ordering. Helpful, knowledgeable store personnel are eager to offer advice to ensure the gifts you buy are just what you — or, more important, the person they will delight on Christmas morning — were hoping to find.

Once possibilities are located, you can examine them — touching, looking, perhaps tasting, smelling or listening — before making a decision.

If, for some reason, the gift isn’t suitable, it can be returned without the inconvenience of re-wrapping and mailing back to a distant distribution center.

But there are other reasons to shop at home. Local stores provide jobs for our friends, family members and neighbors. Purchasing through the Internet may boost employment in another state — or country.

Local merchants also pay taxes that help keep our schools open, our municipal and county services operating and our own taxes lower.

And store owners and managers in our hometowns do much more. They buy youth league baseball uniforms, help United Way fund drives, and support literally hundreds of other local worthy causes. Often, without a bit of publicity, they dig into their own pockets to help both customers and others through illnesses, layoffs and hard times in general.

Want a contribution or a bit of collective or personal charity from an Internet store? Don’t even ask.

For any number of reasons, it makes sense to do our Christmas shopping at local businesses. Again, they are our friends, neighbors and supporters of our communities 365 days a year. And they offer truly good deals and unmatched service both before and after the sale.

So check them out during the next few weeks. That will make Christmas merrier for both them and you.


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