Black Friday? Make An Effort To Shop Local For The Holidays

The holiday shopping season has officially begun. With less than four weeks until Christmas, now is the time of year that the shopping malls, department stores and major retailers offer up the latest merchandise, along with a few great deals, to bring in shoppers flush with holiday spirit.

While, thank goodness, there has been some pushback this year against those stores insisting on opening before the Thanksgiving table has even been cleared, the major chains will once again be packed on Black Friday. If shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year is your thing, go right ahead. We’re in favor of it. However, don’t overlook our local retailers.

We applaud organized promotions such as Small Business Saturday (being observed this year on Nov. 29) that have attempted to call attention to the need to support community-owned retailers. However, our mom-and-pop stores need more than one day of attention over the next month. These independent businesses are the lifeblood that keep our small shopping plazas alive and give so much to the community at large. From the storekeeper who doubles as a soccer coach to the new retailer using the local construction trades, home-grown businesses are a crucial part of our local economy.

Did you know that for every $100 you spend at community businesses, $73 is circulated right here in the local economy? This money is paid to our local governments in taxes, funds our schools and paves our roads. So, as you go out shopping this weekend and over the coming weeks, look for gifts at these small, independent businesses. And remember, it’s not just retailers — service industries like restaurants and salons all offer gift cards that make great gifts as well.

If you’re looking for a local business that offers a particular product or service, we recommend searching the online member directories of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce ( and the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce ( Additionally, businesses of all types can be found advertising right here on the pages of this newspaper.

Oh, and while you’re out and about, pick up a little something extra for one of the many toy drives going on in the western communities. There are hundreds of children in need who will not be receiving gifts this holiday season without your help.