Shop (Laurel) local this holiday season 

Rhea Landholm Brand; marketing and communications manager, Center for Rural Affairs
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Guest Commentary

Shopping at a locally-owned and operated business is truly a unique experience.

The atmosphere surrounds you as soon as you step out of your car. Sometimes, holiday music flows through the main thoroughfares of your small town. Almost always, twinkling snowflakes line the streets.

Large storefront windows decorated for the season beam welcoming lights onto the sidewalk. These windows offer a snapshot of what you can expect when you enter the small business.

Upon taking that step inside, chances are you’ll get a friendly “hello.” This likely is the small business owner.

While shopping, the quiet is soothing. It gives you time to ponder that gift you’re looking for. Is it something your loved one will like? You can ask the business owner’s advice. They’ll be happy to chat with you. Sometimes they’ll make suggestions. If they don’t have the item you’re looking for, they may send you to a neighboring store that’s also locallyowned.

You can shop whenever their doors are open. One special day this year to keep in mind is Small Business Saturday, which is Nov. 30. Many of these businesses will have special activities and offers planned specifically for that day.

Small businesses help drive our rural communities. They help our downtowns thrive. This holiday season, and year round, it’s up to us to support them.

Shopping locally bolsters our community’s economy. Each dollar spent can bring in as much as $3.50 to the local economy, according to the American Independent Business Alliance. This gives a hand up to the business, its employees, and allows them to shop in town, multiplying your dollar.

This holiday season, I challenge you to go downtown. Step out of your car. Take in the sights and sounds. Support our small business owners. After all, they are our friends and neighbors.

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

Upcoming Events

Monday, December 16, 2019
Corinthian Lodge No. 72, AF&AM, first & third Monday, 7:30 p.m., Masonic Temple, Laurel Masonic Temple, 9900 Airport Road (except July-August)
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Saturday, December 21, 2019
Third Saturdays, 1 p.m., The Crossings, 600 Roundhouse Dr.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.

Poll

Do you shop at craft fairs for Christmas gifts?

The Laurel Outlook

 

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