We always encourage our readers to shop local this time of year, but this is especially important as we enter the traditional holiday shopping period in a year when so many people are desperately hurting.

It may seem like years have passed, but it was only nine months ago when many retailers shut down due to stay-at-home orders. Many retailers significantly reduced their hours or temporarily closed. Our local businesses are still recovering, so the purchasing decisions you make over the next several weeks could be the difference between many retailers surviving 2020 or throwing in the towel.

Here at Times-Journal, we can’t say it enough: Spend your money in DeKalb County where it can do the most good!

Months into this pandemic, business owners are finding ways to safely plan for Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States. This will include spreading sales out over a longer period rather than concentrating discount offers on a single shopping day or weekend. That’s not only good in terms of social distancing but in giving you, the consumer, more opportunities to save.

We encourage you to check our pages for super deals as we share the great products and services that you can find just down the road. We know that sometimes shoppers can’t find something locally, but whenever you can, please do so. It can be the difference between sending your money to some faceless vendor in another state (or even overseas) versus helping someone you know earn a living and continue to offer great retail options nearby.

Locally owned businesses create more jobs in DeKalb County. With your decisions, you can help foster the American spirit of entrepreneurship and help more families move into the middle class.

A healthy marketplace means lower prices over the long-term. When you shop local you help to sustain local businesses who, in turn, contribute to local causes and feel invested in building vibrant town centers where there’s a strong web of economic and social relationships. Shopping here also generates more tax revenue so our cities and towns can continue to offer vital public services. Your choices as a consumer decide so much about the kind of community you get.

Times remain stressful, but please be courteous when you do your shopping and respect those retailers who ask that you wear a face covering before you enter. Gov. Kay Ivey continues to mandate wearing masks in public spaces but has loosened restrictions on how many people stores are allowed to have inside at any given time. With coronavirus cases rising and flu season upon us, now is not the time to abandon simple practices that have shown proven effectiveness in limiting the spread of the virus.

Store employees are taking precautions for your protection as well as being careful for their family members at home who may be immunocompromised. Remember the holiday spirit calls for everyone to be just a little bit nicer to one another. Be patient with others and remember that many will be on the job risking their lives to offer you service.

Please also consider donating to groups who are assisting people in need this year.

We encourage you to shop locally – and wisely. Wait until you feel better to go shopping. By doing this and by wearing a mask, you can do so much to help limit COVID-19 and get Alabama back on track to experiencing life as we knew it a year ago.

 

— Our View is the opinion of the Times-Journal’s editorial board, which includes Publisher Steven Stiefel and Managing Editor Emily Kirby.

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