Editorial: Shopping local should be a Park City holiday tradition | ParkRecord.com

Editorial: Shopping local should be a Park City holiday tradition

The mad dash that is the holiday shopping season is upon us once again.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Summit County residents will be looking for tantalizing deals on technology and killer bargains on kitchenware. And they’ll of course be buying plenty of toys. Eager shoppers who braved the Black Friday maelstrom — or participated online from the comfort of their homes — surely scored items by the carload.

But in the rush to check off their gift lists, Summit County residents shouldn’t forget about a group that needs their help this holiday season: local businesses.

It seems like it gets easier every year to do a majority of the season’s shopping through big-box stores. Retailers like Walmart and Best Buy spruce up their offerings with a smattering of discounts, and companies like Amazon make it a breeze to buy products online.

Shoppers will find, however, that making the effort to venture to local shopping districts like Main Street and Redstone is worth it. You may not walk away with a 65-inch television or be able to sift through the selection of gifts you’d find at Toys R Us, but what you will find will surprise you.

In an effort to stand out, most locally owned stores make a point to carry goods that can’t easily be found elsewhere. It’s hard to browse without at least one unique item catching your eye – and those are the kind of gifts that seem to mean more to loved ones.

More importantly, though, residents have a vested interest in ensuring small businesses remain successful. Parkites have long treasured the vibrancy of the historic district and the local flavor mom-and-pop businesses impart throughout the Park City area. And much has been made of the fact that it’s become increasingly difficult for small retailers to make their bones amid an influx of chain stores and the rise of online shopping.

Patronizing our small businesses is the only way to ensure they’ll thrive for years to come despite the challenges of the shifting marketplace. There’s certainly nothing wrong with taking advantage of the deals and convenience big-box stores offer, but residents can make sure their dollars are doing more than simply lining the pockets of uber-wealthy CEOs and stockholders.

Small Business Saturday, held annually on the weekend after Thanksgiving, is a great kick-off to a season of supporting local retailers. But residents who want to avoid the crowds — or have better things to do on a Saturday, now that it’s ski season — have the rest of the month and nearly all of December to join in.

Doing so would be the perfect holiday gesture to both the local business community, as well as those who hope we still have one a long time from now.

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