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Business leaders want residents to finish holiday shopping at local stores

December 15, 2018

As people finish up their Christmas shopping, local business leaders urge shoppers to remember the importance of buying gifts locally.

“I am certain that you can buy locally at similar or better prices than online, if you take the time,” Ron Aldom, Somerset County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, said. “The best part of buying local is seeing the product or talking directly to the service provider. That has a huge value. You already know the quality of the product or service. Plus, most local businesses stand behind their products and services, unlike online sales.”

Aldom said that he often hears about people who are unaware about local products and services in the area.

“Our businesses continue to add more products and services as they grow and local shopping has a direct impact on that,” he said. “Obviously, increased shopping effects profits and sales and allows local businesses to grow. Increased local shopping also attracts more businesses to open.”

Robin Duppstadt, bookkeeper at Duppstadt’s Country Store, said that they often have people come into their Buckstown business who are surprised by all that they offer.

“We have a variety, not just clothing,” she said. “We have gifts and everyday staples, some people call it the Buckstown Mall.”

Duppstadt said that they carry a lot of clothing and footwear. Shopping local allows people to try things on to make sure they are getting the right size.

“You get to see firsthand the quality we have, it’s always nice to be able to know what you are getting for sure when you get it,” she said.

Duppstadt said business has been steady over the years.

“What we have here now is considered unique,” she said. “You don’t see stores like ours anymore because of all of this online stuff.”

Jodi Brougher, co-owner of Cascio’s Fruit Market in Somerset, said that the business has been operating for 100 years because of great support from the local community. She said supporting local businesses helps the community.

“You are putting that money back into your local town to be spent on local sports teams and local employees go out to local restaurants, local grocery stores,” she said. “It keeps the money moving right inside your town in a positive way.”

She said she often receives requests to help with sponsoring local sports teams, local organizations and to help with local kids who are battling illnesses.

“You want to do those things,” she said. “The money to do that needs to be thoughtfully spent. Shoppers need to think about that — how will this help my community?”

Brougher said that they enjoy their regular customers and being able to call them by name.

“There is a meme that circulates on Facebook when you spend money local somebody does a happy dance,” she said. “There is so much truth to that.”

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