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Ask the Expert

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Our View: Shop locally this season

Posted: November 25, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: November 25, 2011 1:30 a.m.
 


Although pre-Black Friday sales have been going on for at least a week, and no doubt post-Black Friday sales will continue until at least Christmas, today officially marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

You may find it difficult to wax merry, though, considering bad economic news from the European Union, the ongoing housing crisis and, especially, the continuing dismal rates of unemployment nationwide.

We believe every one of us has a chance to do something about joblessness right here in the Santa Clarita Valley while also doing our holiday shopping in a thoughtful way.

First, select local stores where you can make your purchases. Even if it’s a big chain store, it’s employing local workers.

When you buy online, the workers whose jobs you’re supporting could be in Seattle. Or Delhi. Or  Shanghai. Buy locally and the job you support might be your neighbor’s.

Join the Small Business Saturday movement. For the second year in a row, a major credit card company is sponsoring the movement this Saturday urging Americans to support locally owned small businesses in their area. Check out the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce’s business directory at http://www.scvchamber.com/search for locally owned businesses that you can support.

These smaller firms often reinvest in the community in terms of supplies purchased as well as workers employed. In addition, many of them are owned by businessmen and women who support local nonprofits, which provides their customers with another way to support their own community.

Consider locally purchased services among the gifts you may give this holiday. A book of car wash tickets or a certificate to a local restaurant is often appreciated more than another knickknack to gather dust on a shelf or another tie.

Donations can also be made in a loved one’s name to local nonprofits, most of which will send a gift card or even a gift basket to the named individual in appreciation of the donation. Check with your favorite nonprofit to find out what its policy is.

As hectic as Black Friday and the shopping season can get, we urge our readers to take the time to help make their seasonal shopping a boon to the local economy. All of us will benefit from that action.

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