2014-11-27 / Opinion

Keep Our Merchants in the 'Black'–Shop Local for Holidays


They call it “Black Friday,” but not because there is anything sinister or dark about the day after Thanksgiving. No, thanks to accounting terminology, calling this day “black” refers to the post-Thanksgiving Day rush into Christmas shopping and the positive impact it can have on retailers’ bottom lines—leaving them profitable, or, as some prefer to say, in the black, not the red.

For a local retail shop, a robust sales day on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday or throughout the holiday shopping season, can make or break an entire year.

Those of us who live in or near Newport and care deeply about the well-being of local merchants root hard for these establishments to do well at the holidays.

Since December is not Newport’s “busy” season for tourist activity, local store owners depend on local residents to make Black Friday and the rest of the season “black.”

We can think of several reasons for local residents to ignore the comfortable lure of online holiday shopping or costly trips to faraway (relatively, anyway) cities and giant retailers: . Free parking in Newport. The need to feed the meters downtown stopped for this year on Nov. 1. You can find a parking space (sometimes a little patience helps). And, most downtown lots offer free parking for an hour or so if you trade with a merchant who validates parking vouchers. . Driving into Newport and parking downtown beats leaving your car in some dark, chilling, mega metropolitan parking garage and paying a king’s ransom to do so. . Depending where you live, you may be able to walk downtown, thereby gaining some exercise while sparing the world a small amount of internal combustion. If not walking, you could consider taking a bus into town. . Driving a short distance to shop local rather than a longer distance saves gasoline. . Shopping in Newport enables shoppers to easily acquire “Newport-centric” gifts for their non-Newport friends and relatives. This time of year many shops carry such treasures. . You see people you know.

Finally, if you become hungry while shopping local, don’t go home to cook. Make a day of it. Eat out. There is no shortage of restaurants in Newport, many of which offer lunch or dinner at affordable prices. Holiday shopping can be more fun when you shop local, on many levels.

Shopping local during the holidays can be a holly jolly experience for you. And it certainly helps to support our local merchants who are bound to greatly appreciate your patronage.

Shop local!

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