OPINION

Congested supply chain gives another reason to shop local this holiday season. Support your community.

The Editorial Advisory Board
With supply chain problems, shopping local is even more important this coming holiday season.

It seems the supply chain is still a bit off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Just look no further than the grocery store and you’ll find interesting outages of product.

Add in labor shortages, and perhaps we have the perfect storm for holiday shopping. 

We’ve seen plenty of stores, shipping companies and others saying, "Shop early." USA Today reports even the White House is warning shoppers about the turbulent shopping season ahead, with press secretary Jen Psaki stating that they "cannot guarantee" that packages will arrive on time for Christmas because of the supply chain disruptions.

USA Today also reported half of Americans have already begun their holiday shopping — and of those, a shocking 70% have run into out-of-stock issues.

This problem isn’t going to solve itself overnight.  But we do have a suggestion for holiday shopping this season: Shop local.

We advocate for this often, but it seems like a no-brainer in these ever more complicated times. If you want to ensure there’s something under the tree come December, why not go out and get it on Main Street or downtown?

Shopping local has plenty of benefits beyond the instant gratification of walking out of a store with your purchase in hand.

When you buy local, the money stays local. It supports the community, pays employees and helps raise families and allows business owners to potentially expand their offerings. When we support them, we’re also helping a neighbor pay their bills.

Wonderful and unique shops are all over Kansas. These places offer local flair and color, community pride and uniqueness you can’t find online. They need our support. The pandemic has been hard on everyone but especially small businesses.

If you’re looking for ideas, From the Land of Kansas is a great place to start. From the Land of Kansas is the state trademark program designed to promote and celebrate agricultural experiences and products grown, raised or produced in Kansas. The From the Land of Kansas brand makes it easier for people to find and support Kansas-made products and Kansas-based businesses.

Big businesses like Amazon, Target and Walmart all posted strong profits this year. And to be frank, they don’t need our support. We’re also well aware that local shops might not have the big ticket items you might be searching for. But we know they’ll have some great alternatives or stocking stuffers. 

So let’s give that holiday support to our mom and pop shops this holiday season. If you can, buy local. Think local. Purchase gift cards. These are all great ways to support our local businesses. 

Tis the season. Happy shopping.