November 28, 2007 There's no escaping the reality that times are tough for small business owners these days.
It's not much better for financially-strapped shoppers whose pocketbooks are a little lighter and budgets a little tighter than in other years.
Throw in record gas prices and projected home heating costs expected to go through the roof, it's no wonder a lot of people are less than celebratory over the arrival of yet another holiday season. But shop we must, and shop we will.
Alas, such conditions present a perfect opportunity for area residents to support their local businesses.
Many small business owners are struggling to make ends meet this holiday season, and they would benefit greatly from a greater influx of local customers.
There are obvious advantages to shopping locally. There's less travel time and fewer dollars spent at the gas pump. Local shop owners can offer more personal service and the assurance that your needs will be met after the sale. Lastly, in the spirit of the season, there is the added satisfaction that we are helping our neighbors' businesses survive.
In Imlay City, downtown merchants are banding together to stay open later on Friday nights this holiday season. Along with the later hours, they are offering discounts and special sales—with the goal of increasing profits and better serving customers. It's a plan we hope will be duplicated in other area communities.
We urge local residents, that whenever possible, to make their holiday purchases at area stores and businesses. By supporting our hometown businesses, we are investing in the local economy, and more instrinsically in ourselves.
The support and good will just might bring some unexpected dividends for all.