The seasons go by so quickly. It’s winter and four gale force wind storms took out the power lines this month. We even had snow. Aside from being wet, which is guaranteed, who knows what the rest of the winter months will hold?
I love some things about this Solstice, Hannukah, Chrismas, Kwaanza season. It’s truly the season of good cheer and well wishes. But this year times are hard. No one is flush with money. Everyone is reluctant to increase their debt. Shopping local is the first step towards ensuring community success and security in a competitive global market. Every dollar that a community member spends outside the community diminishes the economic health of the community. This year my friends decided to shop local rather than traveling south and cross border shopping on Black Friday. We aren’t shopaholics by any means but this year we are spending more than usual.
Jobs have always been scarce here. Some businesses have closed and jobs were lost so we’re keenly aware that shopping locally helps maintain jobs in the community. For every dollar spent for retail goods and services within the community there’s strong multiplier effect. Dollars spent in locally-owned business have up to three times the impact on the community as those spent in corporate chains.
Providing excellent customer service is the way local businesses set themsleves selves apart from chain stores. Shopping at local stores and community halls makes them a destination for socializing. Local businesses help build strong communities by linking citizens and supporting local causes. Small business people make significant donations to local non-profit groups, sports teams, cultural activities and other important causes. So encouraging small businesses to stay in business is where we are at.
Local shops and art and craft sales are an opportunity to make purchases from those we know and gift them to those we love. We are choosing small green gifts of appreciation like a “product gift” that can be worn, eaten, or enjoyed. Cards can be recycled and they can be handmade and, cards are less expensive than gifts. They are also fun to make. I’m looking forward to Winter Solstice. I like making evergreen wreaths but that I won’t be doing that for a couple of weeks yet.
The two months we spent working flat out were exhausting but satisfying. It’s good to have some time now to fill the house with the smells of baking and the air waves with good music. Aside from getting the last shipments to market, we have no major obligations. There are some seasonal concerts and plays to attend that we’re looking forward to and some time to kick back and relax before the New Year. It’s good to be blogging here again.