Let's Buy Those Presents Locally
All politics, as former House Speaker Tip O'Neill famously said, is local. In the case of a community paper like The Pilot, almost all news is local. Most of your friends are probably local too.
And so should your Christmas shopping be.
This may be a global economy we live in these days. But for surprisingly large numbers of Americans - especially those of us lucky to reside in a place like Moore County - our daily lives still tend to orbit tightly around the towns, and even neighborhoods, in which we live.
But places like this don't draw their vibrancy and energy out of thin air. They thrive on the daily personal and economic interplay among residents - a local version of what Rousseau called the "social contract," if you will. And anytime you travel outside your home community to make an important purchase, you break that contract.
We meant to get this said earlier. But since past experience suggests that a great deal of Christmas shopping will get done in the next week or so, it's still worth saying now: Please shop locally.
Paying Dues for the Good Life
If we enjoy the feeling of life going on all around us as we walk along busy Broad Street in Southern Pines, or Chinquapin in Pinehurst, or Main Street in Aberdeen, or McReynolds in Carthage, or Middleton and Salisbury in Robbins, then we have an obligation to return to those areas when we have some holiday purchases to make. It's kind of like paying our dues for the good life we enjoy the rest of the year.
Whatever we do, let's resist the temptation to take the easy way out and go online to buy our gifts. The dollar we might spent on the Web could be spent here and used to pay somebody's salary. For the merchant, your purchases could be the difference between keeping a shop open next year and closing down.
Every purchase made from some giant Internet entity, in hopes that the packages will arrive on your doorstep in time, is so many dollars funneled away to someone who does nothing to contribute to life here in Moore County, employs nobody here, pays no local taxes, and contributes nothing at all to the Arts Council or the United Way.
The Multiplier Effect
Rather than battling holiday traffic to drive to Raleigh or Charlotte or the Triad and then braving the windswept acres of pavement at some giant mall, take the short and pleasant trip to one of our charming downtowns - or out to Pinecrest Plaza or one of our area's other manageably scaled shopping centers - and shop with friendly staffers who are much more likely to know and care about you.
As noted previously in this space, there are encouraging signs of economic resurgence all around us locally, making it all the more incumbent on Moore County residents to patronize Moore County businesses. The higher their market share, the better their chances of surviving to serve us in future years.
It's a gift that keeps on giving. Every dollar spent locally multiplies by four or five times as it percolates through the local economy. The dollar you spend at a local shop gets spent again at the dry cleaners, or the grocery store.
In short, we're all in this together. Let's act like it and make everyone's Christmas merrier.
More like this story