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With Thanksgiving this week, holiday shopping is kicking into high gear.  
There is such allure of out-of-town offerings for Black Friday, and of course, deals galore online during Cyber Monday.  
Let’s also remember Small Business Saturday, which is sandwiched in between these massive sales events.
In Ellsworth County, we have some national retailers, but we also have a myriad of small businesses who make up the fabric of our communities — large and small.  
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, when you spend $100 at a small business, $48 stays in the community. The same $100 spent at a big-box store nets only $14 for a local community.  
It’s vital to remember to support our local retailers as we do our Christmas shopping.  
As my friends and family have visited Ellsworth and admired items at our downtown retailers, I’ve been making a list. Sometimes, I’d even return a few days later to snag the items for Christmas.  
This goal of shopping locally isn’t limited to Christmas. An additional change I have made at the I-R is to buy what we can locally. I realize that sometimes this comes with a slight additional cost, but the value of supporting our economy is more vital than any slight savings — at least to me.
We ask our advertisers to support our small businesses, and we feel it is essential that we do the same.  
One struggle we run into is buying for hard-to-shop-for family members. If parents or grandparents “have it all” or “don’t need anything,” one suggestion would be to find a local charity that speaks to their interest and make a donation in their name. Ellsworth County has many large and small options that would gladly accept donations. A few quick suggestions include Smoky Hills Community Foundation, Ellsworth County Cancer Fund, Ellsworth County Historical Society, your local church or the Cowtown Days Celebration Committee.
From our homes to yours — we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving, and encourage you to keep supporting our local businesses!
Karen Bonar