This Thanksgiving weekend, as you give thanks for all of your blessings, be sure to also give thanks for Jefferson City's small businesses, which help keep our local economy strong.
But do more than give thanks — give them your hard-earned dollars. If you're out shopping this weekend, remember that shopping locally offers benefits you can't get online, including customer service and the ability to see, touch and try on merchandise before purchasing it.
Our local businesses have a wide diversity of products and services, some of which you can't get anywhere else.
Another reason to keep your holiday shopping local is that through sales taxes, you're adding to the tax base, allowing the city, county and state to better our roads, public safety and various other services.
Our local businesses are the ones who give generously to the United Way of Central Missouri, who sponsor local ball teams, and who donate to various fundraising auctions throughout the year. Last we knew, companies such as Amazon haven't supported these local causes.
We certainly understand the desire — even the need — to stretch your dollar as far as you can. We'll never tell you to never shop online or not to comparison shop. Just try, when possible, to give priority to local businesses. Much of the money you spend with them typically stays in our community.
Tomorrow is a good time to start. Many local businesses will participate in the annual Small Business Saturday, offering deals, special giveaways and a "shop small drawing" for gift certificates.
So when you look for that perfect Christmas present, consider our local merchants first.