Keep your dollars local this year

Gray Hughes

Leslie was right: I do have something special cooking for this week.

Thanksgiving, as you well know, is Thursday. The day after that, Black Friday, represents a major retail-spending day for those big box stores and other national chains.

But there are two other “holidays” after that which mean a lot to local communities.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is “Small Business Saturday” while the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is known as “Giving Tuesday.”

Both of these “holidays” represent a boon to our local economy and local not-for-profit organizations. Both of these days, in my opinion, rank as more important than Black Friday.

Let’s start in chronological order.

Small Business Saturday is important for obvious reasons. When you shop at a local retail outlet rather than a big national chain, your hard earned money isn’t going towards padding some CEO’s retirement fund. Rather, you are helping keep dollars in our local community.

It’s no secret that businesses on Main Street America are hurting. The rise of online retail shops such as Amazon and the advancement of online retail sales at other big stores have made it very, very difficult to keep a local mom-and-pop shop open.

But in the communities of Hill City and Keystone, these businesses prevail.

There are so many wonderful shopping opportunities in both towns. So, why not this Small Business Saturday you buy local? Keep those dollars benefiting our local community.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with those big stores. I know those employees work hard, and those large outlets keep people employed, too. But small business ownership is the backbone of the American economy. Oftentimes those businesses are the ones financing things in our community.

Do you see Walmart or Amazon with a physical presence in Hill City and Keystone? Do you see those dollars flowing into our area financing and sponsoring local programs? No, you don’t. What I see are organizations in our community that are genuinely concerned about the well being of Hill City and Keystone. And those organizations are our locally owned small businesses.

So, not only are you helping local families when you shop small business, you are helping the local community better itself.

Which leads me to my second point.

Giving Tuesday is, perhaps, the biggest day for not-for-profit organizations. These organizations across the country raise millions of dollars to help better communities on this day.

These not-for-profit organizations are out here making a true difference in our day-to-day lives.

I know there are dozens upon dozens of fundraisers in the Hill City and Keystone communities throughout the year, but many organizations are counting on people like me and you to keep them running year-round. Why not, a couple of days after giving thanks, show your appreciation to the nonprofits and make sure they can continue to provide opportunities for kids, seniors, our local environment, those in need and those with disabilities.

These organizations, too, should be considered to be the backbone of America. They help provide opportunities to those who are marginalized, those who need assistance getting back on their feet and providing valuable life experience for the next generation.

There are so many great organizations in our local community that rely on donations to keep them serving. The Lions Club, Masons, both the Hill City and Keystone senior citizens centers, Holy Terror Days, Rangers Booster Club, Scouting, Young Life, American Legion, your local church, the sororities here in Hill City and so many more I am regretfully forgetting really provide terrific opportunities to benefit our local community.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing these local entities — both the small businesses and the not-for-profit organizations — thrive and grow. When you give your dollars to one of these entities, you know you are making the right choice.

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