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 has already passed, there are still plenty of days ahead of Lake Oswego 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, you would be more sensible about your holiday shopping.

We would like to invite you to carry that sensibility one step further, and to 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 businessowners, who may also be your neighbors, 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, parks 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 Lake Oswego — are known to support local nonprofit groups and volunteer 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. Your gift giving should stand for something much more than marking names off a list.

Contract Publishing

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