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Column: Use your holiday shopping power locally

ESCANABA — Power to the people!

That’s not a phrase normally associated with the holiday season, but it might be more appropriate than you would first think.

The National Retail Federation has estimated that Americans will spend somewhere in the ballpark of $960 billion dollars on holiday shopping this year, give or take a couple billion. That’s more than the individual Gross Domestic Product of over 90% of all the countries in the world. When it comes to shopping, Americans don’t mess around.

Here’s where the part about power comes in. You represent a portion of those billions, and you get to decide where you spend your slice of the pie. You get to choose whether you hop online, or you hit the road and head to the big city or if you’re going to stay local. Maybe all of one or possibly a little of each. It’s totally up to you. That’s where your power comes in. As Americans, we may only get to vote in an election a couple of times a year but every day you cast a vote with each dollar you spend. That’s some serious strength that you may not have even realized you possess.

Something to keep in mind is that a dollar spent locally is very likely to stay here and be spent again locally. If you take your money out of town, then out of town is where it will probably stay. If you spend it here, that dollar will have a chance to keep popping up over and over.

So, as we get into the real nitty gritty of the holiday shopping season, we here at the Delta County Chamber of Commerce are once again encouraging people to think about where they use that power. We’re hoping that people will see their way to spending more of their holiday budget here at home than ever before and what better way to do that than with a great promotion that combines a couple of things that most people in Upper Michigan love; a good card game and the chance to win a bucketful of cash.

The Sleigh the Deals promotions kicked off on November 21, giving local shoppers a chance to add $1,000 to their holiday budget. Shoppers can save all their receipts from purchases made at Delta County businesses, between November 21 and December 24, and bring them into the Chamber of Commerce. For every $100 worth of receipts, shoppers will receive a special playing card. You can collect the playing cards and try to build the best poker hand possible. When the holiday shopping season is over, whoever has the highest-ranking hand will walk away with $1,000 in cash.

So as the holiday season gets underway, please consider the power of the money you spend and realize that you are literally helping shape the future of our area by choosing to keep your dollars local.

Also keep in mind that this time of year can get a little extra stressful for everyone but particularly for those who work in the retail industry. Remember to be patient and kind with those around you. Here’s wishing you a happy, safe, and peaceful holiday season from your friends at the Delta County Chamber of Commerce.

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