All the procrastinators out there, and you know who you are, have one weekend left to shop before Hanukkah and Christmas.
While many of us made our lists early, checked them twice and already wrapped gifts, others are scrambling for ideas in the 11th hour.
One perk to all those late shoppers is they don’t have a choice of where to shop — local stores are the only places they can purchase gifts and have them ready to give.
Those of us who start early — sometimes months ahead of time — do have a choice, and we must choose to support our local economy.
Our economy is only as strong as the support residents invest.
Yes, much of our sales tax collection comes from visitors’ purchases, but not during the winter.
When temperatures drop in Sedona, so does tourist traffic.
This is when local merchants rely most on residents to at least attempt to purchase holiday gifts here.
Keeping sales tax dollars in Sedona comes back to benefit shoppers.
A portion of the tax collected goes to the city and county which may later fund programs and projects in our community.
If residents step up to do their part, businesses must also take it upon themselves to offer products locals want to purchase.
We cannot expect residents to buy any old knickknack solely in the spirit of shopping locally.
After a year or two, shoppers can’t continue buying cacti, Sedona T-shirts and red-rock adorned coffee cups for relatives not fortunate enough to live in this beautiful city.
Merchants must challenge themselves to keep fresh inventory and offer items not only tourists want to buy.
However, don’t get rid of the mini-cacti, Sedona T-shirts and red-rock adorned coffee mugs. A visitor will eventually purchase those.
Each year the Sedona Red Rock News does its best to support local businesses and promote shopping locally. We publish two Gift Guides and multiple pages advertising holiday specials at shops just down the road.
If merchants and locals commit to creating an inviting local shopping atmosphere and staying home to shop, the entire community will receive the gift of a stronger economy.
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