Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

November 30, 2013

Shopping local is a real treat

The tradition continued.

“Black Friday” arrived this week to usher in the more official start to the holiday shopping season. Consumers thronged to box stores nationwide in a quest for retail deals. Actually, the Friday in Black Friday is a misnomer. Retailers including Target and Kohls opened for business at 8 p.m. Thursday and were greeted by consumers who welcomed the head start. Goshen News staffer Daniel Riordan chatted with a few of them Thursday night, and a report of his encounters is on the front page of today’s newspaper.

The Goshen News doesn’t have a problem with Black Friday. Folks are on the hunt for bargains, yes, but often they’re doing it as a family unit. For many, Black Friday is as much about togetherness as it is about shopping, a sort of extension of the Thanksgiving holiday. Good for them.

ALLOW US TO make a suggestion for how to extend the experience even further.

Today is Small Business Saturday, a nationwide event that began in 2010. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving — and Black Friday — consumers are urged to support small, local businesses in their communities. For Small Business Saturday purposes, “support” means “spend money.”

The News encourages this support. So does Stacey Poynter, deputy district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Indiana District Office.

POYNTER POINTS OUT that people who own or work at small businesses make up two thirds of the jobs created in the United States. And he touted the benefits of buying at their businesses.

“Those dollars are usually staying local in the local community, helping to pay local taxes, supporting local jobs,” he said.

That’s a good point, but Small Business Saturday consumers shouldn’t feel they have to shop out of a sense of obligation. If they visit, say, downtown Goshen today, they’re guaranteed to have a great experience.

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Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

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