Live local, shop local

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category icon Editorials, Opinion

Many businesses — both large and small — rely heavily on a strong holiday shopping season to bring in a significant chunk of their annual income. According to most experts, while the economy continues to improve, consumers are still spending their hard earned dollars cautiously.

Because of this, where those dollars are spent becomes increasingly critical.

And while it’s true that it might not be practical or possible to spend every last dollar in a locally owned business, there are many good reasons to make the effort.

In Camas and Washougal, the cities’ downtown businesses, in particular, work to make the community vibrant, active and unique. The men, women and families who own and are employed by these businesses not only promote their own products and services, they support each other. It’s rare to see that kind of community commitment from a larger retailer.

Both downtowns also now have associations that specifically work to put on events that provide activities and entertainment for people of all ages. As illustrated by the recent successful Christmas celebrations, they do a great job at it.

Our local businesses, located in the downtown cores as well as surrounding areas, also provide jobs. They employ hundreds of local residents. Most also strive to provide friendly, outgoing and customized service, and if they don’t it’s not likely they’ll be in business too long. And when local non-profit groups ask for donations to various causes, it’s these same small businesses that step forward to lend a hand, again and again.

Ask any economist and they’ll tell you, strong local economies create vibrant, sustainable cities. Spending dollars locally, during the holiday season and the rest of the year, is making an investment in the communities of Camas and Washougal, and the people who live here.