Let holiday shopping begin locally

Black Friday is just days away now, and, as we do every year, we urge residents to consider shopping local first.

While many businesses are already promoting special buys that start today and run through the weekend or longer, Black Friday still exists and still will be one of the busiest shopping days of the year. We hope it’s true for merchants in Sampson and surrounding areas.

With the holiday season upon us, and promised deals now just days away, we expect shoppers will be out in droves, hunting for those bargains, shifting into Christmas present-buying high gear. It will be the start of the holiday shopping season, no doubt, and a time when we should look to our own back yards before spreading out to other venues.

We hope, as do members of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce and Sampson Community College’s Small Business Center, that as you prepare that Christmas list and begin to search for those gifts, holiday snacks and party favors, that you not only think local first, but that you buy local first.

We hope that has already started, will continue on Black Friday and will spill over into Saturday, officially dubbed as “Shop Small Day,” a time to offer patronage to some of our smaller, local businesses in the downtown area of Clinton and beyond — to Roseboro, Salemburg, Autryville, Newton Grove, Turkey, Garland and Harrells.

In fact, we hope the buying is a continuation of what we do all year, making a visit to local businesses part of our every week routine. We certainly encourage residents to make their purchases at home as often as they can no matter what time of year it happens to be.

Supporting our community and supporting local businesses helps us all, and given that there will be things we are going to purchase, why not look around us first and give those who do so much for our community a shot at our support?

While everyone continues to look for ways to cut back, there are certain things many will continue to do, like shop for groceries and clothes and purchasing those Christmas gifts either for our children or for those less fortunate children through a variety of charitable gift-giving opportunities.

It is our hope that for all those purchases, and so many others, we will look to our local businesses, keeping our money in the hands of our friends and neighbors, those who are most loyal to us.

There’s really no reason not to do all, or most, of our shopping within the confines of our county. After all, there’s little we can need or want that we can’t find right here in Clinton and Sampson County.If you’re looking for a car or truck, start with one of our dealerships right here in our midst. They have the same, if not better, quality service and products, and you will be helping the local economy at the same time.

If you’re looking for jewelry, clothing, four-wheelers, clothing or toys, they’re all here, too, anything you could possibly want right at your finger tips. And again, purchasing locally means funneling our money, which we would spend any way, back into our local economy.

Groceries, furniture, appliances, electronics, flowers and a plethora of other gifts are all within our grasp,. We don’t even have to cross the county line to find the things on our shopping list.

While we aren’t trying to tell anyone how to live their lives or how to spend their money, we are encouraging you to at least think local before hopping in the car and heading out of town to make those purchases or jumping online to snap up a deal.

The money we are fortunate enough to be able to spend would be well spent at home, fueling tax revenues for our county and towns and providing a jump-start to local businesses that just might need it. We believe strongly in loyalty and returning loyalty to those who give it. Our local merchants do that nearly every day, giving to schools, charitable organizations and clubs, touching the lives of nearly every single resident through their generosity.

Returning that loyalty by way of frequenting their businesses seems an appropriate show of thanks, something that has always made our community so strong.

From downtown Clinton and the city’s local shopping centers to small town stores in all our municipalities, there are opportunities to find what we need and make that purchase.

So start today and continue on Black Friday and Shop Small Saturday, thinking local first and, what’s more, buying local first.