Editorial: Shop local this holiday season

Family-run businesses are the backbone of the North Fork economy. And these businesses — some new, some decades old — are a large part of what makes the North Fork such a unique place to live, work and visit.

Small-business owners also serve as de facto community leaders. They sit on boards of local nonprofits and town-appointed boards. Some even run for public office. Above all, they get involved.

Their names, or those of their businesses, appear at community events, such as Fourth of July and Veterans Day parades. Business banners often decorate the fences at baseball games. 

These businesses’ names are often found on programs and pamphlets of charitable events throughout the year. When a local family faces a tragic circumstance, local business owners are often the first to open their hearts and, just as importantly, their wallets. These are hardworking people of vision who truly help the North Fork flourish.

But they need your support.

In the pages of the Riverhead News-Review and The Suffolk Times and on our websites, you’ll find dozens of ads from area businesses. They help make it possible for our editorial staff to bring you news and information day and night and to keep the community informed and engaged.

Even if you consider yourself the most dedicated of all newshounds, please take time to also 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 or mall could ever match.

What you won’t find is midnight madness and fights over doorbuster sales. And that’s heartening in an age of hair-on-fire pressure to shop as if we’re engaged in a military campaign. We at the Times Review Media Group are challenging all our readers this holiday season to visit North Fork stores and shops and pick up at least one gift from a small-business owner.

It’s easy. The merchants can provide for everyone on your list, and for those who have all gifts covered, there are still stocking stuffers and that one extra gift for someone special.