One of the greatest things we can do to support El Dorado is to patronize our neighbor-merchants

As the holiday hype and hysteria begin in the national media about Black Friday now becoming Black Thanksgiving Night and Cyber Monday has descended into Cyber All the Time, we are called to give pause and consideration to Think Local First all of the time and not just for a certain fiscally frantic weekend or two out of the year.

Rather than simply promoting “buying” local, we are suggesting a larger role as stewards. By “thinking” local, we can make choices that have dramatic impact on our local community, economies, and environment.

We recognize we will rarely be able to buy everything we need or use from local independent businesses, but we are advocating people first think local – look first for local and locally– owned sources of things we need and want to maximize the impact of our daily actions and purchasing decisions.

By thinking and perpetuating a Local First campaign throughout the year, we become aware of what’s really here and then we can begin to understand the economic and social advantages that independent and local businesses bring to our community. The goal, then, is to help create a thriving local economy by maximizing the potential of local businesses and transfer market share from non-local to local independently owned stores and shops.

One of the greatest things we can do to support El Dorado is to patronize our neighbor-merchants.

Compared to their national competitors, local independent businesses recycle more money back into the local economy and give greater support to El Dorado’s nonprofit and civic needs. Our local merchants are better positioned to respond to the special issues and concerns of the community because they are more tied to El Dorado’s future.

At the end of the day, long after the ribbons and wrappings have been stashed or trashed, El Dorado will continue to experience prosperity and an enhanced life filled with great walking trails, fine and performing arts, and festivals and events that truly reflect a focused decision to put locals, both merchants and consumers, first.