Restaurants, antiques, clothing, florists, hair salons, nail salons, spas, book stores, gun stores, gaming stores, jewelers, bike shops, taxidermists, party supplies, photographers, marital arts schools, furniture, car dealers, model trains, liquor stores, gift stores… the list of small, locally-owned and operated businesses goes on.
They are all available right here.
They are owned and operated by your neighbors, people you go to church with, people with children who go to school with your children, people you once went to school with, people whose taxes help your taxes pay for our schools and fire departments and police protection and… you get the idea.
We are entering a season of the year that is pretty important financially for most of these people. For many of them, the majority of sales needed to keep the lights on next year will be made in the next two months.
Happy holidays if you are wincing a bit at the arrival of Christmas reminders to the shelves and city streets. Yes those wreaths and snowflakes are hanging to windows and lamp posts.
This weekend witnessed holiday showcases in Easley, Liberty and Anderson.
Coming within the next two weeks will by the first tree-lighting ceremonies for our area. Each of our communities will have something that brings us together, tree-lighting, parades, carriage rides, choirs signing.
It is a good time to see friends you don’t see everyday, catch up on the growth of children and grandchildren while the parade floats pass by.
In addition to the parades and tree-lightings, each community is also making special efforts to encourage shopping locally.
Pickens has its Gift of Pickens campaign, perhaps the most dramatic in which gift coupons can be purchased to redeem at local participating stores. It helps keep dollars local and helps demonstrate what impact local businesses have.
Easley businesses will be open the night of the Grand Illumination. That offers a time to stroll through and remind yourself of what local merchants have to offer.
All of this talk is about remembering to shop locally for Christmas.
You probably won’t find everything you want in downtown, but you will find unique things and services.
I lose all sense of reality in a unique local restaurant. I enjoy trying new things and seeing my neighbors on a Friday night at a local eatery. I’m not suggesting that any of you buy me gift certificates for food, but you probably know someone like me who would enjoy the same thing.
My wife, in her clever way, might provide me with gift certificates to a local hair salon, “encouraging” me to get my hair cut more often.
As a one-time professional photographer, I know that no grandma will turn down a portrait of the grandchildren. Your local professional photographer can pull that off for you in a snap.
Shopping local is convenient. You just have to go blocks instead of miles. That save you money and time.
It offers the unique. The growing trend is for small, local establishments to offer the thing you can’t find just anywhere. And they will offer it with good service.
I find it very unusual to go into a local store, owned and operated by a local person and not find someone anxious to approach my requests with a smile.
They are invested in our communities let’s make sure we invest in them.