Strategic shopping?

Shop locally. That’s the mantra heard a lot around this time of year – really at any time of year.

Don’t rush to hand over your hard-earned bucks to big corporations who don’t do much for the community. Spend them on the locally-owned outfits who do so much to contribute.

That’s a nice sentiment, and we support it, as far as it goes.

Of course it’s not as black and white as that. Some of the big national or international chains do have programs of ‘giving back’ to communities. Lots of fundraising goes on for good causes. And of course they provide employment for local people.

That doesn’t go for the online giants, who are sucking so much of our disposable cash out of the region and even the country. On the other hand, they do provide work for a robust package delivery industry!

Choose your poison, as they say.

The point should probably also be made (if we’re attempting to be balanced about this) that not all local businesses are very community-minded. Many are, of course. But just being local does not confer any special virtue.

It would be nice to believe we aren’t just a bunch of sheep, going where the sexiest advertising campaigns direct us. Targeted spending can show the powers-that-be who is really in charge.

Black Friday? What’s that? Some American retail industry invention. It’s got nothing to do with Canada. It’s certainly not local.

Spend smartly, that’s what we think. Strategically. Maybe even compassionately.

Happy Christmas shopping season.

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