Step away from the computer. Grab your mittens and head outside into the fresh air. Doesn't that feel better already? Now go straight to the nearest locally owned business for some retail therapy.

While frenzied masses click and shove their way toward the latest hyped-up and marked-down gizmos at big box retailers, your neighborhood merchant is standing by to offer one-of-a-kind items, selected with Park City preferences in mind, all beautifully displayed and served up with fun special events.

Local merchants throughout Summit County, and especially those in Park City's Historic District, are hoping to make your holiday shopping part of the festivities rather than a dreaded chore. The effort kicks off today, Sat., Dec. 1, in conjunction with the nationwide "Small Business Saturday" campaign.

Now before your eyes glaze over from being inundated with circulars about Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday -- Small Business Saturday is not an anonymous play for your wallet. The merchants who stand to benefit from your patronage are your neighbors and parents of your kids' classmates. They are the ones who donate items to local fundraisers, whose business license fees and sales tax revenues keep the city's free buses running and fund a variety of beautification projects. From a purely selfish point of view, therefore, it makes perfect sense to spend your discretionary holiday budget as close to home as possible.

Mingling on Main Street, reconnoitering in Bonanza Park, Redstone and Newpark and moseying over to the east side of the county in Coalville and Kamas all offer more than fiscal rewards. Between the isles of Western wear, handmade crafts and carefully curated luxury items, you are likely run into friends, or even make new ones. At the same time, you will be stimulating the local economy.

So, make a list, check it twice, and you'll find that shopping locally is more than nice.

For more information about today's Small Business Saturday events in Park City go to: http://www.historicparkcityutah.com

And if you aren't quite ready to start holiday shopping this weekend, your local merchants will be happy to see you right up through that last-minute spree on Christmas Eve.