Column: No place like home for the holidays

ESCANABA — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our waterfront community with decorations going up. The holiday season is upon us and as you continue your holiday shopping, we ask consumers in our area not to forget about the local merchant who has supported the area all year long and to give them a chance to compete for your business.

The Delta County Chamber of Commerce knows that our members play a very important role in the community. They are not only our friends and neighbors, but as a group, they are a major employer in the area. It’s these same friends and neighbors who contribute greatly to the local tax base, and more importantly, provide financial support for various non-profits and local charities which contribute to the high quality of life we enjoy in Delta County.

It’s not common for you to solicit donations to your organization’s fundraiser from Internet sites or from out-of-state malls. It is our local businesses that are approached and give generously and happily year after year. They now deserve a thank-you in return.

Please keep a short leash on your mouse and shop locally. Before buying online, check with a local merchant to see if that “must have” gift is available from them at a competitive price.

The Chamber is taking another fun approach to encourage shopping at home by planning the annual “Off the Beaten Path” shopping excursion on Dec. 2. The event offers transportation and a gourmet lunch for Christmas shoppers. It is our hope that buyers will discover the unique gift stores and shops that are on paths slightly less traveled, but well worth the road trip! Your time is a precious resource, why waste it going out of town when you could shop right here in Delta County and have someone else do the driving for you? Contact the Chamber at 786-2192 for details.

We believe that you can’t beat home sweet home for the quality products and unequaled services offered by our local businesses and professional community. Thank you for keeping your hometown businesses in mind as you shop and fill your Christmas list. Not only will you find that perfect gift for someone else, but it’s also a gift to the community and an investment in Delta County’s future.

Please make that list (and check it twice!) to identify gift items that could be purchased locally rather than outside of Delta County. Buy here and help to positively impact our local economy and make the holiday wishes and dreams of our retailers come true.

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Vickie Micheau is the executive director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce