<b>'Check Williams <br>First' when seeking<br>holiday gift items</b>

With the rapid approach of Christmas holidays, it’s time to nail down unique gifts that will convey how much we care for those near and dear to us.

Holiday shopping can become harried and frantic, but the solution can be close at hand.

Each holiday season, the Williams-Grand Canyon News promotes local merchants with its Check Williams First campaign — a campaign kicking off in this week’s edition (See pages 6A and 7A for holiday shopping ideas right here in town).

Give the local merchants a gander. Many distinctive items line their shelves. You’ll be surprised at the quality and variety of the wares in Williams shops. All too often, we ignore the treasures they offer right here at our fingertips.

Many Williams merchants are the same people that spend countless volunteer hours in local service clubs and organizations. They serve as our scoutmasters, coaches or fund-raisers for our community. These merchants donate incredible time and effort to building and improving the community for everyone. If they prosper, we all prosper.

Shopping locally ensures that your money will stay at home supporting the things we all need and enjoy. Each dollar spent locally is returned many times over in local services for you and your family.

Dollars spent at home help ranchers, teachers, wage earners — everyone. As money rolls over locally it helps support public services, schools, churches and numerous other groups and organizations.

Retail drift costs our community dearly.

This is the term economic researchers use to describe dollars generated in a smaller community, which are spent in a larger community or nearby city.

Every time you shop out of town you help pay someone else’s taxes, support their schools and help them build new streets and facilities while you neglect your own. Part of every dollar you spend goes to support their city.

Thus, small town residents who leave their communities to shop in big-city malls are actually committing a form of economic suicide.

Shopping at home can thwart retail drift. Keeping your dollars at home helps keep our community strong and economically healthy.

When you shop out of town, you also spend your valuable time driving, use expensive gas getting there and deal with people you don’t know and aren’t likely to see again.

Our local merchants, provide quality gifts at competitive prices and they will be right there in our community should there be any problem with the goods or services they offer.

And shopping here in town is certainly more convenient. You save time and gasoline. You eliminate the frayed nerves from fighting traffic and jostling crowds of people.

So do Check Williams First this holiday season. By doing so, you will not only support your community, you will also get the chance to find distinctive gifts to spread holiday cheer.

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