The Christmas shopping season is here. So before you think about driving to stores in Kitchener, or London, or Barrie, or Toronto, or ... Heaven forbid Buffalo ... think again.
Think about shopping locally. Especially at small merchants in our region.
A strong Christmas season can make or break their year. Beyond traditional storefronts, there are also numerous Christmas craft and artisan shows this time of year, where you can pick up unique, one-of-a-kind items to complete your shopping list. Keep an eye out for them.
And a word to our area merchants. Dress up your windows to compel shoppers to pop into your stores. Extend your hours to make it convenient for people to shop when they aren't working.
Get involved in community marketing efforts, like they have in Wiarton with its effective "Shop in the Hood" promotion. Take advantage of online opportunities like "CouponCountry.ca" which gives shoppers discounts at local merchants through Bruce and Grey.
Do everything you can to make shoppers stay in our area to fill their Christmas stockings and find just the right presents for their loved ones.
When we shop locally, we reinvest in our community. When we shop locally, everyone wins.