EDITORIAL: We’ll say it again: buy locally
It’s been said before but it’s being said again — because it’s that critical.
With this holiday season officially here, there is no better time to emphasize the importance of that simple act, and it really is that simple. Do you have groceries to buy for a holiday dinner party or a big Christmas feast? Buy them from a local grocery store. Do you have stocking stuffers you need to procure? Get them from a local business. Interested in buying unique gifts for family or friends? There are a ton of options locally, including at the new Heritage Hall Museum & Archives Mercantile right here in Freeman, where local artisans have items on display and for sale.
Other independent retailers here in Freeman — like Norm’s Thrifty White, Vintage Vault and Floral, Et Cetera Shoppe and Global Gifts, Fensel’s, East River Furniture and 81 Metal Art — have a healthy supply of items that would certainly be perfect for somebody you’re shopping for. Buying from these local retailers, especially around the holiday season, is critical to their bottom lines.
And next Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2 and 3 as part of Hometown Christmas in Freeman, the public will have an opportunity, not only to buy from storefront retailers, but also home-based businesses. A Mistletoe Market featuring local vendors will be set up in the Et Cetera Shoppe from 5 to 8 p.m. Supporting them is just as important as supporting more traditional businesses.
You clearly can’t buy everything in Freeman. You can’t run downtown and grab that Apple Watch, Vikings jersey or pair of Uggs. For those types of items and many others that make up Christmas wish lists, buyers have no choice but to go into the city or hop online. Nobody is suggesting you shouldn’t do so.
But for that “one other thing,” or that stocking stuffer — and certainly for that Christmas ham — look no further than in your own backyard.
Local businesses that do not feel the direct support from their hometown community feel that, and with margins razor thin in many circumstances and major online outlets only ramping up their game, things are only going to get tougher for mom and pop shops everywhere.
What happens when the variety store closes, the specialty shop shuts down or the boutique goes out of business? What happens when the grocery store can no longer make it because everyone is opting for other options?
Then, that’s just one more thing that goes away — one more asset your hometown loses.
This isn’t hard.
Buy your groceries locally.
And your school supplies.
And your Halloween candy.
And your flowers.
And your lumber.
And your hardware.
And your furniture.
Do it as often as possible and go elsewhere when you must.
This is a message that is repeated frequently, not only by this newspaper, but by others who recognize the value of buying from local sources. Yet many still choose options that have no benefit to their own community.
That will likely always be the case. But if the message can sink in to at least one more person, that’s one more buyer who might just help save a business.
Jeremy Waltner | Editor & Publisher