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Opinion

November 29, 2012

Spend your gift dollars near home

The holiday shopping season is in full swing and again we have to say that before you pile into the car and head for some huge mall in a distant urban area, think about doing your holiday shopping in your own backyard.

The idea of shopping locally is an important one -- not just when it’s time for the annual Christmas gift-giving onslaught, but all year long.

Trying to maximize the number of dollars that remain in Otsego County is the right approach, for a number of reasons.

It stimulates the local economy. Those dollars travel through the economy and pass in and out of the hands of your friends and neighbors and, eventually, back through your hands. There is a multiplier effect, and the more times those dollars are spent and re-spent locally, the higher the multiplier.

Local purchasing also generates sales tax revenue. It may not sound like much more than pocket change, but it adds up in a hurry. Cross the county line and that money is lost.

It’s even environmentally responsible. Travel fewer miles, burn less fuel.

Most importantly, it makes you a part of the solution.

If we want a robust, sustainable local economy, it is up to each of us to do our part to create it. The cure for a lagging or stagnant economy will not emanate from Albany or Washington, and we shouldn’t be sitting around waiting for the next economic development package to come down the pike.

We need to apply some self-determination to the situation. We must look for solutions of our own and put them into practice. We have the power in our wallets to make substantive change in our local economy.

Buying locally is a simple concept that can have a far-reaching impact. It requires no start-up capital, no state or federal grants, no staff or office space — just a healthy dose of common sense applied to your purchasing decisions.

This holiday season, do your part by shopping close to home with your neighbors.

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