Shop local for the holidays

  • Thursday, December 3, 2015 5:16pm
  • Opinion

Now that we’re well into the holiday shopping season, we hope you’re visiting central Kenai Peninsula merchants for your gift-giving needs.

While it’s tempting to simply click on “buy it now,” sit back and wait for goods to be delivered, here’s a pitch for putting in the effort to spend your money with area businesses: When you purchase something locally, you walk out of the store with more than just a piece of merchandise.

Money you spend with local merchants gets circulated in the community. That money supplies wages and benefits for hundreds of employees — your friends and neighbors — which they turn around and put right back into the economy.

In fact, it is estimated that money spent locally produces a seven-fold return right back to the community.

On top of that, many area businesses are heavily invested in our community. They support schools and non-profit organizations. They donate goods and services for fundraisers. They sponsor events, from concerts and art exhibitions to races and festivals.

A frequent complaint is that it’s hard to find some items here on the peninsula, or the selection isn’t good. While we don’t have as many options as you might find in a larger community, for many of us, getting away from sprawling strip malls and shopping centers are reasons we choose to live here, and there’s much to be said of the personal touch you get from shopping at a small business. And there’s a good chance a local merchant has just what you’re looking for — you just need to ask. For more information, folks at the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce are more than happy to help out.

So, before you go online, make your gift list and check it twice to see what you can find right here.

While you might have to change out of your pajamas to do your Christmas shopping, we have a hunch you’ll find the results — both in terms of what you find in area stores and in the benefits that shopping local provide — to be worth the effort.

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