Where do you do your Christmas shopping?
Most people don't give that question much thought, but I encourage you to do so. As a small business owner and president of the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce, I know that where you shop can be as important as -- and even more important than -- the actual products you buy.
If you were to list the things that make our community vibrant and special, local businesses and business owners would have to be pretty high on the list. Those businesses can stay open only if they have customers, and you are the perfect customer.
I'm not suggesting that you have to buy everything locally; for one thing, there are things that can't be obtained from local providers. But I am suggesting that you think before you shop.
Think about the hidden costs of driving to the big box store for the "extra-low prices: gas, your time, the headaches of sitting in traffic, the empty feeling of knowing that your dollars are all going outside your community.
Then think about the benefits of shopping close to home: the personal interaction with people you know, the convenience, and the good feeling that comes from knowing that your shopping dollars are going to local folks who need them.
Have a great week -- and think local before you shop!