It’s that time of year again, when people line up for hours at a time to get the hot deal at the big box stores. And although Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have already passed, there are still plenty of days ahead of residents to shop for their holiday gifts.

We hope that instead of spending hours in the dark and cold, waiting for some box store to open its flood gates with limited deals and doorbuster savings — or even worse, doing most of your shopping online — we will all be more sensible about our holiday shopping this year.

We would like to invite everyone to carry that sensibility one step further, and to make a pledge to shop in Washington County communities this holiday season.

With all the money filtering out of our local economy just so you can get a slight deal on the latest electronics or clothes, why not look to shop at locally owned businesses? You can not only help those you love by buying them a personal gift, but you can also support local business owners, who may also be your neighbors, and who may be struggling to compete this time of year.

Your “shop locally” pledge can be relatively simple. You can pledge to buy just one gift from a small business, or you can pledge for your household to spend $20 in Aloha, Beaverton, Bethany, Cedar Hills, Cedar Mill, Garden Home or Raleigh Hills.

Sure, it sounds all fine and dandy to support the local economy, but what’s in it for you?

A 2012 study shows that more than half of local retailers’ revenue is recirculated into the local economy as opposed to less than 14 percent of national chain stores’ revenue. And zero dollars are circulated in the local economy when you shop online.

More money locally means increased funding for the schools, parks and roads we all depend on. Plus, that money supports local employees, who also spend in the community and pay taxes.

Many local business owners are known to support Beaverton-area nonprofit groups and a variety of volunteer efforts. Their investment in the community, both professionally and personally, should be rewarded. Also, they’re less likely to try to rope you into an upgrade when you’re shopping. They’re more concerned in establishing a relationship with a patron than getting a one-time sale.

We urge everyone to help give the local economy a little extra boost this year by shopping right here in your home town.

Contract Publishing

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