The end of this week officially kicks off the Christmas shopping season — yes, what’s known as Black Friday looms just a few days away.
The bravest among us will feature out early Friday — or late on Thanksgiving day, depending on the store — in search of special deals and big savings.
Many make the journey into an annual adventure, braving the traffic jams and potential wrath of fellow shoppers while on the prowl for the perfect gift.
In addition to hunting down the coat for Aunt Molly or the tie for Uncle Bill, keep in mind where you spend your money matters.
Local merchants provide goods and services year around, not just during the holidays.
Area stores supports many of the community’s special events. They sponsor youth athletic teams. They help support the many arts programs that provide quality entertainment throughout the year.
Fairs, festivals and other annual attractions — such as the National Junior college Athletic Association Men’s Division II national basketball tournament at Danville Area Community College each March — depend of support from local businesses. Without that help, many of the events would disappear.
Local stores want your business. If you don’t see something on your gift list, ask. Chances are good the local merchant can deliver that item in plenty of time for it to takes its place under the Christmas tree.
Buying locally also helps local government pay for services through sales tax revenue. And, shopping locally can save time and significant dollars on gasoline costs.
As you get ready to brave the wild aisles of Black Friday, think about shopping locally. Putting those dollars back into the area’s economy helps in many ways.