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Buy local all year round

Next weekend, while many people will be headed off for the malls and big-box retailers, fighting the crowds as shop for holiday gifts, others will be taking a more stress-free approach: shopping at their local hometown stores.

This next weekend brings us Small Business Saturday or Buy Local Day in several communities: Ticonderoga, Warrensburg, Plattsburgh, and Bolton Landing.

Shoppers visiting the local independently-owned businesses are more likely to find unique gifts, unlike the mass-produced items in the big-box stores. In addition, they probably will be greeted with a warm smile by someone they know, who cares about their family, and participates in local community life.

In Ticonderoga, two dozen businesses will be offering deep discounts. In Bolton Landing, shoppers will enjoy open houses with refreshments and pleasant socializing. In Warrensburg, businesses will be handing out raffle tickets for valuable prizes. In Plattsburgh, local enterprises will be offering a variety of these incentives.

We applaud the local chambers of commerce in these four communities for adopting the Buy Local initiative for Saturday Nov. 30. The promotion offers a welcome alternative to the madness of Black Friday — which is oriented to big-box stores, and Cyber Monday, which supports faceless e-commerce corporations.

But such awareness of our local entrepreneurs shouldn’t be limited to one day — we should be practicing it all year long.

While Denton Publications and other community newspaper publishers have been promoting the concept for decades, the idea of shopping locally has recently been gaining traction due to the growth of the sustainable living movement.

Buying locally offers a lot of practical advantages: saving plenty on the costs involved in driving to the suburban big-box stores and malls, as well as avoiding the mayhem and jammed parking lots. Small businesses also offer more comprehensive, personalized service — because the proprietors understand your needs — which can mean greater satisfaction derived from purchases.

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