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With the holiday shopping season beginning to ramp up, I want to emphasize to our citizens how much sense it makes to shop local for their holiday needs. 

How many times have you left Roanoke Rapids to buy something that was, in fact, available right here in town? 

Between our hardware stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, clothing stores and other businesses, there are very few things that you can’t get here in town. 

By the time you factor in fuel costs and your valuable time, you are often saving yourself money by shopping local. 

Every dollar you spend in Roanoke Rapids helps your neighbors and local businesses. 

Locally-owned businesses have a long-term commitment to our community. 

They relate to their community’s lifestyle and they have a vested interest in our city’s quality of life. 

Equally important, local businesses are major contributors to our economy and tax base. In economic development efforts, existing successful businesses make a positive statement in new business recruitment.

Talk about a win-win situation — Viable, healthy businesses are apt to remain in our city when we demonstrate constant and vibrant commitment to them. 

Supporting local businesses also demonstrates support of job creation and additional community cash flow. 

Every dollar you spend in town helps your neighbors and local businesses. Do you really want to contribute to our sales tax leakage to another city?

I want to challenge each of you to stop and think before you leave Roanoke Rapids to buy something.  

Ask yourself, “Can I get that here?”  

If the answer is yes, then stay in town and support your local businesses.  

Not only does shopping local help keep the coffers full, it also promotes a sense of community.  As you go into local enterprises, they begin to recognize your face. They know who you are, and you begin to build relationships.  

When you shop local, especially from a small business, you’re not helping a CEO buy a third holiday home, you’re helping a little child get dance lessons or their team jersey and helping Mom and Dad put food on their table.

Joseph Scherer is city manager of Roanoke Rapids