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Shop where your home is

You’ve heard about supply chain issues and how it could affect holiday purchases so buy your presents early. My message is a little different but just as impactful – if not more so. This year, shopping early may be a good idea, but the more important message is to be sure to shop local – and here are reasons why that makes a big difference in our community:

Put your money where your home is. Local businesses are the life blood of our economy. They provide jobs, contribute to our tax base, help fund municipal services, schools and infrastructure. Shopping local supports our neighbors, friends and us. Invest in our community and help support a strong, vibrant, healthy Durango by buying local.

The multiplier effect. Local businesses pay employees who turn around and purchase goods and services in our community. They also pay local taxes and keep the mighty dollar circulating throughout our town, which strengthens our economic base.

Keep Durango unique. By shopping local, you are helping maintain Durango’s distinct character. Many times, local stores offer items that are not available on a widespread or national basis. You can also support local artists and crafters who create one-of-a-kind items that you can’t find anywhere else.

Local businesses care about Durango and the people who live here. They’re involved in our community – you see them in our grocery stores, on the soccer fields and at community events. You develop personal relationships with the owners and employees when you frequent their business. They’re also involved in community-based decisions and local issues, and they care about the future of our town.

They give back. Local businesses are also more likely to contribute to local nonprofits by donating products, cash and helping with fundraising efforts. Durango has a number of essential local nonprofits and our businesses help support them. When you support local business, you support nonprofits.

Stop the leakage. When you spend money on goods and services outside our city and county, and you could have made the same purchase locally, that results in leakage and it doesn’t help our economy.

How can you help support our business community? There are many opportunities to buy local. Get out and find businesses that offer products you are looking for instead of leaving town or buying online. This holiday season, many places offer gift and craft shows, so check local listings.

Shop local and get rewarded. The Chamber and the Business Improvement District are once again partnering to implement the Holiday Rewards Program, where shopping local earns you gift cards on qualifying purchases.

Take the time and support local business. You vote with your wallet, and buying local casts a vote for Durango. Support our great town and the future of our community.

Jack Llewellyn is executive director of the Durango Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at jack@durangobusiness.org.