­­Support our local community through our $100 challenge

Last week’s Thanksgiving celebration is behind us. So are Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now is the time to think about supporting our local merchants this holiday season, and the Lassen County Times again encourages residents to take our annual $100 challenge.

Yes, with Christmas just around the corner, we again challenge each newspaper reader to spend at least $100 shopping at home this holiday season. If we all did that it would pump more than a million dollars into our local economy — just think of it — $1 million.

Local merchants have told us repeatedly it is very common for shoppers to tell them they were participating in the challenge to help bolster our local economy.

The $100 — or whatever extra comfortably fits into the family budget — doesn’t necessarily need to be just items from your favorite stores. It could be gift certificates from local restaurants, beauty salons, massage therapists, auto detailers, gyms, golf courses or other service providers throughout the county.

And it doesn’t have to be just presents. You could always spend the money on something more personal — getting your nails done for a special party, a dinner out or filling your gas tank for a trip to visit family. There are literally hundreds of ways to spend $100 in Lassen County this holiday season. We challenge you to find the ways that best fit your needs, your lifestyle.

Consider this. Money spent locally has these benefits, to name just a few:

Funds recirculate — Significantly more money recirculates in our community when purchases are made locally because these businesses frequently purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing locally helps grow other businesses, as well as our community’s tax base.

New jobs — Most new jobs are provided by local businesses. Small local businesses are collectively the largest employer nationally.

Community investment — Our businesses are owned and/or managed by people who live in this community and are more invested in the community’s future. They are generous when it comes to supporting local school programs, Little League and all the other organizations that make Lassen County such a great place to live and raise a family.

Customer service — Our businesses typically hire and train people to have more specific product expertise, resulting in better customer service. Employees will go above and beyond when they are helping someone they consider a neighbor, not just another customer.

One-of-a-kind character — A growing body of economic research shows in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

Remember, shopping locally and spending $100 could be the best Christmas present, not only for those on your list, but for everyone in Lassen County.

Thank you for your support of our local businesses. As this festive holiday season begins, may we be among the first this year to wish you all a very, Merry Christmas.