Shop local: Main Street is more fun than clicking ‘buy now’

Stories highlighting the need to shop early for the holidays as supply chain issues clog the path from factory to store shelves have been grabbing headlines since September.

With the arrival of Christmas with the next flip of the calendar page, there’s an easy solution to avoid supply chain issues.

Head to your local retail stores in the Tri-Cities.

Stores in downtown Kennewick and Pasco, and Richland’s Uptown Shopping Center and The Parkway offer options galore for holiday shopping, from the quirky and sublime to the bookish, tasty and traditional. And options aren’t limited to these shopping districts – they can be found around the Tri-Cities.

Retailers trumpet Small Business Saturday, which falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year it’s Nov. 27. But there’s no reason you can’t also shop at local stores in the days leading up to Christmas.

The antique stores in the Uptown Shopping Center in Richland — Hunt & Gather Antiques and Vintage, Patina, Ragtime and Uptown Antique Market — banded together to offer a “Vintage Christmas Market” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. Santa will make the rounds between the stores, which will be decked out for Christmas and each store will give away a gift basket.

Paul and Cheryl Ziemer, owners of Hunt & Gather, say shoppers often tell them they like being able to shop locally at stores like theirs.

Cindy Mosley-Cleary, owner of The Lady Bug Shoppe in downtown Kennewick, agreed, saying she hopes to see a good turnout on Small Business Saturday as the winter months after Christmas are the slowest of the year. (Read our feature about local retail shopping by clicking here.)

In addition to supporting local stores owned by those who live in our community, there are other benefits: lines typically are shorter and the customer service terrific.

Supporting local businesses also has a ripple effect in our community. By supporting local businesses, we allow those businesses to support area nonprofits through sponsorships and donations. These businesses also pay taxes which return to our local governments so they can support important services.

Busy families and tired workers might argue it’s easier, more convenient and sometimes cheaper to shop online. But wandering into local shops and discovering the perfect gift for someone you love is an experience that can’t be replicated with a few taps on a keyboard or smartphone.

Shop local, spend local – and we’d love it if you continue to read local, too –  and you’ll be supporting the backbone of our community and its hard-working entrepreneurs.

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