Shop locally this holiday season |

Shop locally this holiday season

Dear Editor,

The holiday shopping season is upon us. This year, more than in years past, holiday spirit should incorporate community spirit. As the uncertainty of our economy continues to unfold, supporting locally owned businesses becomes even more important.

Recent national trends provide a sobering picture of what these businesses are up against. Since 1990, more than 13,000 locally owned pharmacies have closed. The market share of independent bookstores has fallen from 58 percent in 1972 to just 15 percent today.

Home Depot and Lowe’s have captured one-third of the hardware/home improvement business. Five companies account for about 42 percent of all grocery sales. Wal-Mart now captures 7 percent of all consumer retail spending.

These statistics don’t necessarily mean that franchises or multinational companies are bad. Glenwood Springs benefits from those businesses, too.

However, it’s how we benefit that differs. Usually money spent at a locally owned business circulates around the community three, four, sometimes as much as seven times before it finally departs to some corporate headquarters in the Caribbean.

Local business owners live in our community. They and their kids are involved and invested in its future. By supporting locally owned businesses, we build a network of personal and economic relationships that are essential to a strong community.

Dan Richardson

Glenwood Springs

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