You can give Escanaba and its residents a big Christmas present this year - shop local first when you are filling your Christmas list.
You have probably heard this message time and time again, year after year. It is worth repeating because the benefits of shopping locally to Delta County's economy and its residents is enormous.
By doing your holiday shopping locally, you are not just helping local merchants. Supporting local stores helps keep their workers gainfully employed. The local merchant also buys supplies and services from other local people - perhaps even you. The merchant's employees do the same. They buy groceries, go out to dinner, get their vehicle serviced, and make countless other transactions.
The businesses where that money is spent benefit in the same way. So do their employees. It's a chain reaction. It goes on and on. Just one purchase impacts the well-being of a countless number of your friends and neighbors.
Sometimes the lure of a shopping trip out of the area or buying gifts online is strong. We can help everyone in the community, though, if we just look for the items on our Christmas list locally. Chances are you will find them here - and at competitive prices.
The holiday season is a make or break time for many stores and businesses. The last few years of this economic slump have been hard on the area and its residents. Many still do not have jobs or are working reduced hours. Prices have risen, and in some cases, salaries have not. Times have been hard.
We can help our neighbors and ourselves by keeping our holiday dollars in the local area. It may be the most important Christmas gift you give this season.