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Support those who support you

An editorial on shopping locally.
Fourth Street Estevan
Shopping in Estevan helps to keep the community going.

A lot of people have already started their Christmas shopping.

We hope shopping locally will figure prominently into their Christmas shopping plans.

We’re blessed to have so many stores and services worthy of our support here in southeast Saskatchewan. In Estevan, we have an excellent and vibrant business community that is generous with so many causes throughout the year.

When you go into the smaller towns in our region, you’ll find they have a diverse selection of businesses eager and ready to serve you.  

But for these small businesses to survive, regardless of whether it’s in a boom time or in challenging years, they need customers to enter their doors and to purchase what they have to offer. 

In recent years, we’ve heard more and more people talking about the significance of shopping locally and supporting businesses in the area. There’s more awareness about the contributions of local businesses.

As online shopping continues to grow, and as more people turn to websites such as Amazon to purchase what they need, we’ve seen many respond by trying to be loyal to local business.

The small businesses that are part of our communities have a lot of common denominators. They provide excellent customer service. They have caring owners who work long hours. They create jobs for local residents. And they believe in the communities where they work.  

There are also the franchise owners who are connected to a national or international company, but are a big part of the local community.

You’ll see all these people donate to local fundraisers, to the local health care facility, the sports teams, the cultural organizations and a myriad of other non-profits in the community.  

For some reason, we’ve never seen Amazon make a donation to a school initiative in southeast Saskatchewan or to the Salvation Army’s kettle campaign.  

The pandemic hasn’t made life for small businesses, either. Some of them have been forced to close. Others have had to lay off staff members – an incredibly difficult decision for so many of them. And others have faced a time of great uncertainty, not knowing when this will end, if they’ll be subject to a new round of restrictions, or if they want to wait this out to the end.

Now they’re forced to contend with supply chain issues and the difficulty of not having the items that people are looking for.   

But they also aren’t throwing in the towel and taking a defeatist attitude.

We’re going to have opportunities to shop local as well.

The Downtown Business Association in Estevan is going to host their inaugural Miracle on Fourth Street on Dec. 11.  

Of course, you’ll have the door-crasher specials and discounts that one would expect from a day created to promote shopping locally. But Fourth Street is going to be teeming with activity, with food, free matinees, family fun and more.

It’s taking the place of Moonlight Madness, and having it in the middle of the day, on a weekend, should allow more people of all ages to be there, as opposed to a Thursday night.  

If you’re looking for Christmas gift giving tips, you’ll find it in this week’s edition of the Estevan Mercury with our fourth annual Christmas Catalogue. There are lots of ideas for shoppers, nicely laid out and separated into different categories.   

And, again, it shows that diversity of what we have to offer.  

With Black Friday, the Miracle on Fourth and other initiatives happening before Christmas, the catalogue is a great resource.

We find it frustrating, and even infuriating, when we hear people talk about limited shopping opportunities in Estevan, because we know it’s not true. It’s definitely hard on the retailers when they such comments.

And it’s tough when we hear people talk about how they’re turning to Amazon and similar resources for their needs.  

But for those of us who know and understand the importance of our local business community, we get why it’s important to shop locally, especially at this time of year.