By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Jeb Bladine: Living in the local state of mind

casejustin/Can Stock Photo
casejustin/Can Stock Photo

The annual holiday spending spree began today on Black Friday, to be followed immediately by Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and four full weeks of pre-Christmas shopping. Through it all we try to remember the true meanings of this holiday season, and to honor and enjoy our personal, family and community traditions.

One of those customs is our annual reminder that local people, businesses and institutions benefit year-round when we try to keep more dollars here at home. That decades-old News-Register campaign promotes what we call the “Shop Local Advantage.”

We begin with the Shop Local Investment by patronizing local businesses that contribute to community quality of life; provide choice, diversity and character to the community; support local nonprofits; and provide leadership for civic and special interest activities.

However, Shop Local Advantage awareness can extend into many areas of life in a strong community.

Act and Live Local: Show respect for community priorities and traditions; make decisions and take actions that safeguard the economic, civic and lifestyle strengths; defend and preserve the quality of local air, water and other important resources; become involved in civic affairs as a leader, participant or supporter of local programs and initiatives; interact with the people, businesses, schools and institutions that contribute to local quality of life; support and champion the causes that make your community a better place to live.

Think and Be Local: Have a positive impact on local quality of life not just by where you shop, but by what you say and do; talk constructively about your community, and be a Shop Local Advantage model for others.

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Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

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A phrase frequently quoted by environmental protection supporters urges people to “Think global, act local.” With no intent to devalue that sentiment, we want to suggest in the context of this campaign that people “Think local, act local.”

By the numbers, here are the fundamental ideas of our Shop Local Advantage crusade:

1. Local Economic Prosperity: Strong businesses are the key to a healthy economy by providing the jobs a community needs to maintain its vitality. Those jobs pay wages that make more local purchases, and the cycle continues.

2. The Multiplier Effect: Dollars kept at home are re-circulated again and again, creating jobs and promoting community development. Dollars sent elsewhere are gone forever. People who “Shop Local” are supporting improvements to their own quality of life.

3. Community Services: Local businesses are major contributors to civic and charitable causes that are essential in any good community. They pay property taxes that support public services. Strong local businesses give back to the community that supports them.

4. Civic Leadership: Local business are owned and/or managed by people who understand the importance of civic involvement. A strong local business community provides valued leadership on a wide variety of civic issues and projects, and in diverse local service organizations. In supporting them, we support community vitality.

5. Quality of Life: Local communities are more livable because of strong local businesses. Supporting local businesses helps maintain the Yamhill Valley’s distinctive character and lifestyle.

6. Saving Time and Money: There are hidden costs in out-of-town purchases, such as time, travel expenses and “big city” aggravations. Local businesses are here and immediately available to handle issues involving product advice, warranties, replacements and maintenance.

7. Youth Employment / Youth Opportunities: A healthy local business community provides valuable training and employment opportunities for local youth. Many of them want to remain in their hometowns, which requires the availability of good local jobs.

8. Marketplace Diversity: Quality of life comes from easy access to a multitude of products and services from local businesses that strive to meet the needs of their local customers. A multitude of small local businesses guarantees a much broader range of product choices in the marketplace, for residents and visitors alike.

9. Environmental Impact: Local stores help sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers, which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution. In those ways, Shopping Locally is “Shopping Green.”

10. Competition: A marketplace comprised of many small, successful businesses is the best way to ensure innovation, local entrepreneurship and low prices for goods and services over the long-term. Local ownership is an important ingredient in that competitive marketplace.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at jbladine@newsregister.com or 503-687-1223.

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