Editorial: A penny spent here stays here
As we approach the end of the holiday shopping season, it’s very tempting to drive to a superstore or go to the web. Sure, free shipping may be over, but we’ve all got the odd last-minute gift to buy (or, perhaps, all our gifts — you know who you are, Christmas Eve shoppers) and the variety available in malls and on the web isn’t available here. Plus, of course, prices are competitive — and who doesn’t want to save money?
But wait a second. The brick and mortar business on Block Island are run by our friends and neighbors, and they are there for us when we need to run out and get a birthday gift an hour before the party. The stores are how our neighbors put food on the table and keep a roof over their families. And unlike online sales, they generate sales taxes to benefit the state economy.
Furthermore, there are great deals to be had here at this time of year, and carefully curated offerings that beat Amazon every time for whimsy and local practicality.
As you ponder your last minute holiday purchases, think local. If you are on island, visit the shops open this weekend and on Tuesday night. There’ll be great deals, friends to run into, and drinks and nibbles from cider and cookies to peppermint martinis. It’s not the kind of shopping experience you can get anywhere else, and it’s sure more appealing than fighting crowds at Target or the Providence Place Mall.
Or, if you happen to be off island, go to www.blockislandtimes.com and visit Shop Block Island Online. You’ll find links to Block Island shops with merchandise, not to mention always popular hotel and restaurant gift certificates. Or check out the Esta’s Park bricks for sale at the Chamber.
Spending your money here is good for all of us, not just during the holidays but all year long. Keep it in the family — the Block Island family.