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Our Opinion: Look homeward

July 28, 2001

We usually write during the holiday season that people should shop locally rather than driving east to Yuma or west to San Diego.

But with summer upon us, and more important, new development in the Imperial Valley, it makes sense to talk about shopping locally now and year-round.

As temperatures soar over 100 degrees — made worse by thick humidity some days — it can be more than tempting to race to the coast to shop. We urge people to consider spending their money in the Valley.

We do not think it is a sacrifice to shop locally. Along with the quality businesses we already have, new businesses are here or on the way. One shining example is the opening of the Home Depot in the southeast section of El Centro. It replaced HomeBase, which closed after a relatively short run in that location.

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If you are satisfied with the prices and services of your stores, there is no reason to switch, particularly if it is a locally based business. Dollars that go into such stores turn over and over again in our community, instead of going to a far-away state. If you are not getting what you want or not finding what you need, check out that new local business that might have what you desire.

Also, take the time to visit your city's downtown. El Centro has recently renovated its downtown. Even two major fires in the last year in the area haven't done much to diminish the development. It looks good and there are fine businesses there that deserve your patronage.

The same goes for the downtowns in Calexico and Brawley. Calexico downtown business owners and the Calexico Chamber of Commerce are working to upgrade the downtown as are business owners in Brawley and the Brawley chamber.

You can find good deals shopping in the Valley, so you don't have to drive far or waste gas to do so. You can find almost anything here in the Valley. You certainly can find good deals on cars, maybe even better deals than you might find outside the Imperial Valley. It's at least worth giving local car dealers a chance before looking over the hill.

The point is we all live in the Valley and if we want the area to continue to grow and bring even better retail options, we have to spend our money locally. The more we do so the more new businesses will take a serious look at locating here.

We owe it to ourselves to shop locally. Shopping locally supports your friends, neighbors, city and county and even your own family.

For the good of all of us, try to keep your dollars here.

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