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Editorial: Shop, think locally


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Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2012, 6:00 am
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The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus
We know how busy you are today.

If you've just grabbed today's paper off a darkened stoop, you may be getting ready to sally forth and brave what we fervently hope are huge crowds for a Black Friday of holiday shopping.

Or maybe you're taking a quiet moment alone with your laptop, perusing QCOnline.com, your aching feet on the ottoman, and a soothing cup of tea in hand, at the end of a busy day at the mall or one of the Quad-Cities many big-box stores.

In that case, more shopping may be the very last thing you wish to think about. We urge you, however, to fight the impulse and plan tomorrow to lace up your sneakers once again to observe Small Business Saturday.

While it's important to the national economy, our local community, and these newspapers, that major retailers do well on Black Friday, the success of local and small businesses is even more vital to the economic health and quality of life of our community.

That's important to consider, not just on the eve of this year's Small Business Saturday, but throughout the holiday season. The reasons remain compelling. We've outlined them before, but they're worth repeating this year and every year:

-- Small businesses are job-creating machines. In the last 20 years, they created 65 percent of net new jobs in America. The money you spend in your community stays there. Various studies show that when consumers choose to spend locally, $68 of every $100 spent remains in the community compared to $43 of every $100 for non-locally owned business.
-- Local businesses use local resources, they employ local people and pay local taxes. When they thrive, it reduces the property tax burden on the rest of us.
-- Homegrown retailers and businesses support the things in your community like schools, police and fire protection, clean water and garbage collection. That doesn't happen when you shop online. And those companies also don't pay local sales tax or give to local charities.
-- Indeed, local business owners and their families always are among our community's most active cheerleaders and generous donors of money, goods and services.

The Quad-Cities is fortunate to have a wide range of stores to choose from, the big box retailers who carry a wide variety of items to the local and specialty stores with one-of-a-kind hard-to-find gifts. If you don't sample the local inventory, you'll miss out on many unique local bargains such as Isabel Bloom's unique figurines, Lagomarcino's marvelous confections, certificates for pampering at local salons and spas.

The possibilities are endless and they are all right here, in the community and often can be tailored to your gift recipient's specific needs by local merchants happy to help. What could be more personal than a locally purchased present carefully chosen with the recipient alone in mind?

Our message is not entirely altruistic, of course. Your newspaper has a huge stake in the success of Quad-Cities retailers -- our advertisers. We are proud of the support they give us and the service they provide to you. The newspaper you're holding in your hands or the website you're reading wouldn't be possible without their advertising dollars.

So, when faced with a choice of whether to buy an item online, at a shop out of town or locally, we urge you to pick the local merchant. Remember, too, many of them have convenient Websites, too. Just Google them.

Local businesses are the lifeblood of our community. Reward them for supporting the Quad-Cities by supporting them. Shop locally this Saturday, throughout the holiday season and all year.















 




Local events heading








  Today is Saturday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2014. There are 123 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: A large pair of elk, captured in Iowa, were exhibited in Market Square today.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Rock Island Arsenal dam was being constructed under the supervision of Charles Frances, of Lowell, Mass.
1914 — 100 years ago: Mrs. Frank Mixer, of Rock Island, was the winner of the final preliminary for the women's handicap golf cup at Rock Island arsenal links.
1939 — 75 years ago: Sixteen hundred persons — many from war-fearful Europe — arrived in New York aboard the German liner Bremen. For two days on the trip, passengers were cut off from the world with both incoming and outgoing radio messages banned.
1964 — 50 years ago: Police reported five youths have been involved in the theft of about seven cars in recent weeks. Three of the youths were arrested Saturday afternoon, one was in custody as the result of a previous arrest, and the fifth is expected to be arrested today.
1989 — 25 years ago: The Rock Island/Milan School Board is asking the city to tear down Franklin School and allow the school district to pay back the estimated $100,00 cost during 10 years.






(More History)