Here at theHumm we’re big on local economies. The retail and service businesses in the small towns that we cover play a huge role in the cultural life of those towns. Each store, restaurant, or small enterprise attracts and serves a particular clientele — some inside the community, some from outside. Some businesses host their own special events; others join together with local festivals to make the whole experience more vibrant. Many provide support in cash or in kind to local initiatives. A healthy local economy is an essential component to a healthy community.
It is with this in mind that we once again bring you theHumm’s annual Gift Giving Guide. Our hope is that you’ll find two kinds of inspiration in the many lists that appear throughout this month’s issue. As you peruse categories like Gifts for Coffee & Tea Lovers, Gifts for Environmentalists and Gifts for Funky People, we hope you’ll discover the perfect gift for everyone on your list. But we also hope that you’ll be inspired to investigate even more of the independent, locally owned and run businesses throughout our coverage area. In doing so, you’re likely to encounter not only friends and neighbours, but also some old-fashioned small town peace and joy at this potentially hectic time.
Putting Your Mouth Where Your Money Is
If you’ve been reading theHumm for a while, none of this is news to you. You’ve been shopping locally and feeling pretty good about it. So how about putting your mouth where your money is? When you find a local service or establishment or product that gives you joy, let your friends and neighbours know (and perhaps bestow a kind word upon the owner or employees as well!). That kind of investment is so much more powerful and useful than outrage and despair when a beloved business closes its doors.
The gifts we buy locally do double-duty by giving pleasure to the recipient and at the same time supporting the business of a friend or neighbour. If the gift happens to be fair-trade, environmentally-friendly or made by a local grower or artist, then it does triple-duty! We would like to thank the participating merchants for taking the time to send in their Gift Giving Guide suggestions, and to thank our readers for shopping locally and thereby supporting both the shops and our paper.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy holiday season, and a local New Year!