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Our Opinion: Help yourself, help the Valley

November 26, 2001

We've said it before, but it bears saying again as we enter this holiday season. Before you go over the hill to San Diego or drive through the desert to Yuma, take the time to visit local businesses and see what they have to offer — we are confident you will be happy you did.

By shopping locally you not only help yourself, you will benefit the entire Imperial Valley and that is no minor point. If the Valley is to grow, if it is to have more business development and prosperity, we need to show we can support the businesses we have.

Things may be even more difficult for those businesses than in recent years. People are reluctant to spend in these uncertain times of war, and with border checks more stringent than ever and long lines discouraging cross-border shoppers, we are doubly hit.

Local businesses have been deeply affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Calexico has probably been affected the most, but businesses in El Centro have felt the sting as well.

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If we have the power to make sure such local businesses do not falter, we should exercise that power. We do have the power — the power that comes with being consumers. We can shop locally. We can visit our downtowns and see what kinds of businesses are there. Downtown businesses have much to offer, as do larger businesses in the Valley.

El Centro has spent a great deal of money to upgrade its downtown. It is a pleasant area in which to shop, complete with a town square with a fountain where people can relax from their shopping. In Calexico, businesses have been working to improve the shopping experience for customers, as have businesses in Brawley.

We do not ask that you shop locally as if it is a sacrifice. We have high-quality businesses in the Valley, and when you shop locally you have the benefit of dealing with businesses who care about the people of the Valley.

Local businesses have worked hard for your patronage. They deserve a bit of your time. And every dollar you spend at local businesses moves through the Valley several times.

The more we shop locally the more new businesses will look to the Valley as a place to settle, and that can make for a better future.

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