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Shop the Harbor for happy holidays to all

Consumers this year, maybe now more than ever, are looking for creative ways to shop for people for the holiday season. However, there’s one thought that many people may not have considered yet — shopping locally. The many reasons to shop locally on the Harbor all add up to good cents.

The top reasons to shop local include:

Reduction of environmental impact. Less travel reduces air pollutants.

Better service. Local businesses tend to hire people with some knowledge of the products they sell.

Jobs. Local businesses provide a majority of jobs, and support other local businesses.

Local prosperity. Local business owners contribute more to local fundraising, investing in the community and have an interest in the future of the community.

Local flavor. Stores are also likely to carry locally produced foods, supporting local agriculture.

Preservation of local character. By supporting the local businesses, they can continue to thrive and give the Harbor part of its identity.

Most of all, regardless of which store you shop at on the Harbor, sales taxes support the community and county. Callie White, communications director of Greater Grays Harbor, explains that for every $100 spent on the Harbor, $6.50 goes to the state and $1.40 returns to the Harbor.

“What it boils down to, is that a dollar spent in a locally-owned business will go to your neighbors who work there, services and products from other businesses to support the one you first spent the money at, and local non-profits (local businesses and business people are the core donors to causes like the United Way of Grays Harbor, the 7th Street Theatre and more),” explained White.

Find things in unexpected places

But what about those hard-to-find items? First call the store that is most likely to have it. If they don’t, they may be able to specially order it or even send you to a different local store that does carry it.

Did you know that some of the hardware stores, Dennis Company for instance, have begun to carry toys for the season? Dennis Company offers these toys at discounted rates that are $10 and under.

Waugh’s Men’s and Women’s Apparel offers much more than just clothes. They also offer cigars, wine and Pendleton blankets to name a few.

Wiitamaki’s also offers gift items including purses, clocks, wallets and not-so-expensive jewelry.

On a budget

Of course there are those Black Friday ads, advertising spectacular deals. But for the rest of us who prefer to avoid the crowds and maybe sleep in a little bit, you can still find deals, even better than those advertised for Black Friday.

“Liking” a local business on Facebook can lead to unadvertised deals and coupons. Annaliese Priamos of Grays Harbor Deals on Facebook, compiles daily a list of local deals to be found. She also hosts a website, www.graysharbordeals.com, that features printable coupons, local events and more.

For those of you looking to decorate for the season, visit www.harborbungalow.blogspot.com for excellent and inexpensive decorating ideas with items that can be found around the Harbor.

Online

I know what you’re thinking, ‘How can I shop locally by shopping online?’ You can, by connecting with other area residents and purchasing items they no longer need or have to sell.

At www.2good2toss.com, by shopping in the Grays Harbor section, new and used items ranging from baby toys to clothes and electronics can be found. The best thing? The money stays on the Harbor, and you don’t have to travel a long ways to find out if the item is what you’re looking for.

On Facebook, Grays Harbor Swap and Shop, as well as East Grays Harbor Swap and Shop offer a similar service. Be sure to read the rules first before posting or purchasing.

“Spending your money locally is absolutely one of the best ways you can protect and nurture your own community and neighbors, and it follows that buying products that are produced as locally as possible does the same,” White said.