Posted by: thepersistentassistant | November 25, 2010

Shop Local First

As published in the November 24, 2010 edition of The Woodstock Independent

Initiatives through local government, Chambers of Commerce, public and private organizations all across America over the last several years, have been campaigning, “Shop Local First”.

Why shop locally owned independent businesses first? For starters, far more of the money spent at local businesses is quickly reinvested into your own community.  Local shops and restaurants are who employ our community.  By shopping local, you are taking a personal initiative in maintaining the social, economic and environmental health in your very neighborhood.

As we head into the holiday season, I’m sure you are reviewing your personal budget, streamlining holiday wish lists and setting a plan of action to make every dollar work for you.  The temptation to conveniently sit at home and shop online is hard to suppress. Free shipping offers and other online incentives peak our curiosity and tug at our wallets.

Yet, independent stores offer so much more than online shopping, retail outlets and big box stores – they are gathering places for neighbors to meet. Why a good, healthy, “stop and chat” could be an opportunity for a new connection, an informational tidbit, or simply a moment that your very presence brightened someone’s day.  It’s also a chance for you to make a connection with a small business owner – let them know what your interests are and what you would like to see their shops carry.  Have them search for a hard to find item, or suggest one for that person on your list that has everything.

Shopping local creates traditions and memories. Participate by attending community events sponsored by our very own shops and restaurants.  Merchants right here in Woodstock are hosting open houses, extended late night shopping and offering special promotions all week, and during, Woodstock’s winter tradition, Victorian Christmas and The Lighting of the Square on Friday, November 26th. Local women are saluted every year through Ladies Night Out, which falls on December 2nd this year.  Shop merchants from 5:00pm to 10:00pm and “help bring the holiday season home to friends and family”.  Leave the chores at home and enjoy a day with your children on December 11th from 10:00am to 5:00pm at participating stores in and around the Square. Look for fun activities and events for your family to enjoy. What a great way to celebrate community!

Keep money and character in our own neighborhoods. Take pride in your community.  Local independent businesses are what make your hometown a more interesting place. They are the heartbeat of your community. Help build a thriving local economy. Shop local first, today!

Laura A. Witlox is the Proprietress of The Persistent Assistant and can be reached at


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