EDITORIAL: Consider shopping local

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

With Santa’s arrival in New Minas at the recent Santa Claus parade and other Christmas celebrations planned to kick off the festive season, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the days are ticking down to Dec. 25 (35 days left as of this publication, but who’s counting?). And for many who celebrate Christmas, that means it’s time to start making your shopping lists and checking them twice as we approach the busiest shopping days of the year.

With Halifax just an hour’s drive away, it seems an easy solution to cruise into one of the big malls and get your shopping done in one fell swoop. But that might not be the best option for the continued economic success of Kings County.

At the most basic level, when you shop local, the majority of the money stays in the community. This area is great for showing its support of local agriculture by purchasing produce all summer long at farmer’s markets, roadside stands and local vendors; extending that support and keeping local businesses in mind as we approach the busy shopping season can only benefit the community as a whole.

Those dollars that stay in the community help to create jobs and tax revenue, as well as encouraging further development in both commercial and residential areas.

Don’t forget, as well, that our business community is known for being very generous with their charitable dollars, ranging from supporting sports teams and events to helping keeping the shelves stocked at area food banks. Small retail shops and independent businesses are a major part of defining a community; their very livelihood depends on ensuring the neighbourhoods around them are a place that people want to live.

But these small mom and pop stores face tough challenges as we continue to recover from the recession. Competition from big box stores and online sellers makes it increasingly difficult for the small guy to get its share of the holiday dollars.

We have most everything – if not everything – we need right here in Kings County. When you factor in the cost of gas (and let’s face it, that’s going nowhere but up), the meals out and possibly overnight accommodations involved with a trip to Halifax or even further afield, buying local is also a savings for consumers as well.

Consider, as well, all of the unique items available in this area. A bottle of wine from a local vineyard, a hand-crafted item available from the vendors at the local markets, an unusual item found at one of the many independent businesses – all would make lovely gifts and help the local economy, while sharing a piece of Kings County to loved ones both near and far.

There is a joy to shopping in local stores at the holidays, to walking along a sidewalk with streets decked out for the festive season, to being greeted by a familiar face at a store, to finding gifts that aren’t mass-produced.

To us at the Kings County Advertiser like everyone wins in this situation – shopper, gift recipient, retailer and community as a whole. 

Geographic location: Kings, Halifax, New Minas

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