As the Christmas season officially begins, we urge shoppers to not only consider what gifts to purchase, but also where to make the purchase.

Online purchases are easy and convenient, and shopping big retailers offers variety. But also consider the locally owned, locally managed businesses.

Here are a few reasons why you should shop local as much as possible this season:

—Keep your money local. Tax revenues fund our schools, roads, law enforcement, first responders and many other services we often take for granted and buying local keeps that money in the local economy.

—Local investment. Small, local businesses can use the revenue generated by your purchases to expand, add equipment or hire local residents.

—Locally-made products. Many local businesses feature crafts, homemade goods and other items that are made right here in Scott County or Kentucky. That helps the businesses that sold the material, the equipment or the local craftsman.

—Support for non-profits. Local businesses support local non-profits with money donations, but also volunteer time.

—Discover unique people and things. One-of-a-kind shops and restaurants make our home special.

—Personal connections.  Getting to know the small business owners creates a bond that is priceless.

—Product knowledge. Local businesses know their products and they know their customers. 

—Diverse products. It is highly likely you will often find products that are not available at national stores. That can make your gift even more unique and special.

—Cost effective. Often prices are better at small businesses.

—Better experience. Local shopping can be more convenient.

—Less “leakage”. If you buy locally, more of your money stays here, while purchases made at national chain stores “leak” out of the community and even the state or nation.

—Create community. Getting to know local businesses, and their owners creates a sense of community and ownership in the community.

—Better service. Small business owners need your business, so they will go out of their way to provide quality service.

We urge our readers to go through our pages, including the Shop Local section in our Thanksgiving edition. Support these advertisers because they are supporting a local small business — the News-Graphic. Yes, the newspaper is a local, small business and we need your support too.

Shop local this Christmas. The benefits are many.

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