Shop locally – help all of us

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to use the Net and he won’t bother you for weeks.”

— Modem Times, “Maxims for the Internet Age”

It may seem like we are beating readers over the head with a club, but here comes another editorial urging you to patronize local merchants.

In fact, for the past 25 years or so The Maui News has been urging its readers to shop locally.

Internet sales are severely impacting brick-and-mortar stores. That is really not very surprising. We lost our Kmart this year — and competition from the net was a large reason.

While it may be a little early to start referring to the holiday season, these are scary times. From Nov. 1 to Christmas Day, many retailers will see 40 percent of their annual sales. And many of us start looking for holiday bargains in October — and that means today.

To be brutally frank, every time you order through an internet store with no local ties, you are costing jobs on Maui. If an item is available locally, it should be purchased locally.

Every person on this island who needs a job (and, boy, there are a lot of us) cringes when they hear that a neighbor saved $3 or $4 by buying an item on the internet that was available locally.

Many companies are urging U.S. buyers to patronize locally owned, small businesses this holiday season. We would simply urge you to purchase this year’s gifts from an entity that has a local address. You can do your part to create and save local jobs.

It can be tough to find — and keep — a job. While we feel sorry for people who are working hard in KillaUSjob, India, we would much prefer that job was located in Wailuku, Hawaii. Toward that goal, we are going to spend our holiday money with people who employ other people on the island of Maui, Hawaii.

We would encourage others to do the same.

(Portions of this editorial have appeared previously in The Maui News.)

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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