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.

Instead of spending hours in the dark cold, why not make a pledge to shop local 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 also help local businessmen and women who struggle to compete this time of year.

Your shop local pledge can be simple. You can pledge to buy just one gift from a small business. Or you can pledge for your household to spend $20 locally.

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 schools, hospitals and roads that we all depend on. Plus, that money supports local employees, who also spend in the community and pay taxes locally.

Local business owners — especially in Woodburn and the surrounding area — are known to support local nonprofits and volunteering efforts. Their investment in the community, both professional and personal, should be rewarded. Plus, 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.

And shopping local allows you to get creative. Why not buy a birdhouse or another starter project at Long Bros. Get your wife that high-end purse from Handbag Heaven. How about a gift card to Leisure Time Day Spa? You could even make a gift more personal by employing the talent of a local artist. These are just a few ideas that could not only boost the local economy but would mean you would be giving a gift of support to local business owners this holiday season.