Weekly Feature

2007-11-28 / Editorial

Include local businesses during seasonal shopping

Bee Editorial

If "Black Friday" isn't what you consider an ideal shopping experience, then maybe a leisurely stroll along Main Street would be more appealing.

With the vast majority of residents doing some holiday shopping, everyone has his or her shopping preference: online, the mall or independent boutiques. While big-box stores can make one-stop shopping easier, don't forget to patronize your local businesses.

The Williamsville Business Association will make a day of it beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday with its Village Holiday Open House. Shopping in the village's shops also gives patrons the chance to win a $500 shopping spree through the Business Association. The association has planned several family friendly events to make it a special holiday event. More information on the day's events is available on page three in this edition.

Williamsville is just one of the corners of town that has speciality shops and independently owned businesses. At Main and Harlem, renovations are under way, but businesses remain open for dining and shopping. Farther up Main Street, toward Transit Road, are additional shops, with an inventory not always found in the malls.

And don't forget about gift certificates to Amherst restaurants. Homemade, local food offers something special that chain restaurants can't seem to capture. Western New York restaurants have a lot to boast about, claiming to have the best beef on weck, pizza or chicken wings, so share places you consider a dining gem with friends and family.

Amherst and Williamsville stores and businesses offer the opportunity for finding unusual, speciality gifts, while putting money directly back into the community instead of a corporate office on the West Coast or somewhere else around the country or overseas.

While many big-box stores and chains can use their large bank accounts to bombard you with newspaper, television and radio advertisements highlighting their "one-day" only sale (which clearly becomes more like a 100-day sale), many of your local merchants may not have enough money to do the same.

It's important that during this time of giving and receiving that we all remember to help out "our own."

There is something to be said about walking through a beautifully decorated shop, with festive, creative displays.

The same feeling isn't there when walking through bright, fluorescent, boxy aisles with mass-produced products on every shelf. Make this shopping season enjoyable, relaxed and local.

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