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McDuffie Ink

This year is flying by. Now we're all getting ready for the holidays.

No matter which holiday you celebrate, everyone has shopping lists that are miles long. As a member of the downtown business community, I invite you to shop your local merchants this holiday season.

It's so important that a town's residents support its businesses all through the year but especially during this time. Chain stores put a huge strain on the local economy because only a small amount of your purchase (sales tax) goes back to the community, and their "unbeatable" prices make it hard for small businesses to compete.

When you buy locally, you're helping to keep the community alive. Giving your money to large chain retailers causes a major shift in the economical ladder, and over time you'll notice that small local stores can't stay in business.

Do you remember when Walmart moved in, local places like grocery, hardware and clothing stores started disappearing? Most of them had probably been in business for years, but because of the lower prices of bulk purchase and convenience of a "one-stop shop," they simply couldn't compete.

This holiday season, I'm asking that you revisit those wonderful days when downtown was the center of community life, when you could find everything you needed within a quarter-mile radius, and shop your local businesses.

There are so many wonderful places downtown to shop, and all it requires is one parking stop and a little bit of time.

If you're looking for a deal, those are available, too. Visit Aunt Tique and Uncle Junk's down First Ave. You can find new and old items that are perfect for presents. Or you could try It's a Southern Thing.

They have unique gifts that can be engraved or embroidered to make that personal present you've been searching for. Another option would be gift certificates to downtown restaurants, hair salons or other businesses.

Don't forget to put the museum on your shopping list. We have things that even hard-to-shop-for people enjoy.

My brother, who hates clutter, found a book in our gift corner that he wants.

The lockets we have are beautiful, and our paper dolls make great stocking-stuffers for little girls. We even have coloring books.

It doesn't matter where you shop in town, so long as you shop local. If you look around Thomson, you'll be surprised at all the presents you can find on your list.

When you buy locally, you stimulate the local economy, and that supports your family, friends and neighbors.

Web posted on Thursday, December 17, 2009

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