OUR OPINION: Shopping locally provides gift to community

Now that Cyber Monday has passed, may we suggest Try-On Tuesday, Customer Service Saturday or Capital Improvements Sunday?

We acknowledge that shopping online has become part of our hightech lifestyle. Even locally owned stores are testing the Internet waters this holiday season.

But some local entrants, including Carrie’s Hallmark owner Carrie Carroll, hope online promotions will prompt visits to local stores.

We retain a preference for shopping locally, based on three reasons.

First, the shopper can see and handle the merchandise to determine its quality. The ability to try on garments and assess the exact color eliminates the time-consuming hassles of returning items.

Second, customer service is a valuable resource. Trained professionals can offer suggestions and help shoppers narrow a generic concept to specific options.

Finally, shopping locally helps the Mid-Missouri economy and, by extension, benefits all of us.

When local merchants prosper, they employ more people and pay more taxes.

Coupled with local sales taxes, those revenues help create and improve roads and bridges, build and modernize facilities and enhance our quality of life.

The struggling economy has exhibited some encouraging signs, and early reports from the holiday shopping season bolster optimism.

Gift-giving is an appropriate and integral part of holiday celebrations. It brings joy to both giver and recipient.

And, ultimately, bringing joy is what the season is all about.

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