Editorial: Shop locally this holiday season

12/06/2013 1:00 PM |

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People can say what they will about Route 58 being overrun with big box stores. It’s still a fact that family-run businesses (some not so small anymore) continue to be the backbone of the North Fork economy. And they’re also a huge part of what makes the region such a unique place to live and visit.

Small-business owners also serve as de facto community leaders. They sit on boards of local nonprofits. They run for office. Above all, they get involved. Their names, or those of their businesses, appear on Little League uniforms, hospital facilities, programs and pamphlets for charitable events. When a local family faces a tragic circumstance, local business owners are usually the first to open their hearts and wallets. These are hard-working men and women of vision who truly help the region thrive.

But they need your support as well.

In the pages of this family-run newspaper and on our news websites, you’ll find dozens of ads from area businesses, some funny, some pretty, some just informative. They make it possible for our editorial staff to disseminate news and information day and night and to keep the community engaged.

Even if you are the most dedicated of newshounds, please take time also to notice what your friends and neighbors are offering through their print and online ads. What you’ll find is a wide range of products and services no big box store could ever match.

What you won’t find is midnight madness, fights over doorbuster sales or, with some necessary exceptions, Thanksgiving or Christmas hours.

And isn’t that nice?

We at Times/Review are challenging all our readers this holiday season to visit North Fork stores and pick up at least one gift from a small-business owner. Then tell us about your experience — send us letters, online comments or Facebook posts. We want to know what you bought, where you bought it and who it was for. We’ll be sure to publish some of your feedback online and in print.

Tell your fellow readers why you love a small business and would hate to see it close and move away.

Because when that happens, we lose much more than we think.

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