Home is where the heart is, and so, too, where loyalty should lie when families make up their shopping lists this holiday season.
Shopping with local merchants is convenient, of course, but local shopping also involves sensible, practical economic realities that should enter into decisions.
The Wood River Valley's retail economy is heavily dependent on local shoppers. Stores serving the valley are vital to the area's employment and tax revenue base. They are also critical to maintaining the valley's attractiveness as a resort area.
Without a diversity of retailers, convenience begins to vanish along with the ability to preview goods in advance and to talk to knowledgeable sales people. Without local retailers and service providers, jobs and tax revenues that support essential public services may vanish, too.
Wood River merchants work hard to earn business by carrying high-quality merchandise. They back what they sell. If they don't have it, they'll get it—fast. If an item or service is faulty, they fix or replace it. They support a legion of local philanthropies as well.
Shoppers should be savvy to distant discounts that may offer a misleading lure. Costs in time, fuel and shipping to shop outside the valley are high. If the item isn't right, the post-purchase hassle-makes the cost much, much higher.
As shoppers embark in search of Christmas and holiday gifts, they must remember that purchases elsewhere weaken the valley's economy.
Families in the Wood River Valley are here by choice, and a sensible choice, we might add. Part of the responsibility of every resident is to help protect and preserve an economy that benefits everyone and continues to improve community life.