Shopping small and local this holiday season

By Erika Weisensee, Oregon Writer

The National Retail Federation reports that 138 million people plan to hit the stores on Friday. Black Friday has become the Super Bowl of shopping days. You can bet that a whole lot of people will spend a whole bunch of money at the big box stores, buying the latest electronic gadgets, video games, clothing, and small appliances.

For lots of reasons, I’m going to make an extra point to shop at smaller, locally owned stores this year. I hope others will join me—the little guys sure could use our business.

The neighborhood toyshop, gift store, and boutique, the independent bookseller and the mom and pop hardware store are great places to do some Christmas shopping. When we buy from locally owned businesses, we support our communities, our friends and our neighbors.

Remember that most small shops, salons and restaurants offer gift certificates for hard-to-buy-for people on your list. And, local artisans in every community make and sell jewelry, artwork, edible delicacies and other items that make unique gifts.


Erika Weisensee is a native Oregonian, a writer and a mom. She teaches journalism and communication classes at the University of Portland.

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