By Cherimie Crane Weatherford
It’s time to scorch a few turkeys, antagonize a few relatives and simultaneously give joyful thanks for them both. It is the season to find reason to indulge, enjoy and aggravate! After rushing the isles of Publix, decking the halls and cursing all your many blessings, please consider your holiday shopping list this year.
If long lines, riotous crowds and no sleep make your spirits bright, then by all means make your merry way to the big box stores to see the empty shelves where your prize once rested. Find questionable parking places, plan impressive strategies and guard yourself against the jolliest of the highly caffeinated. After all, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without that one item you just have to give which sadly is forgotten in exactly two weeks because the batteries are never included. Never.
The current political climate offers the thinking type fodder of endless inspiration. The debates, debacles and discourse alone give hours of confusing pleasure asking for no reprieve. The choice of shopping small gets lost in the mix of enticing topics. It lacks the sensationalism and controversy that otherwise would gain notoriety. Would life really change if you chose small over all?
Beaufort small businesses know your name and how to spell it. They have written countless checks supporting your tiny dancer, your serious slugger and your churches softball team. When the time arrives for donations for your socially conscience soiree, is it the big box store that comes to mind? Possibly. Most likely you go the corner cafe, the local boutique, the hardware store. Just like that, they give.
Small businesses can’t compete with Amazon, Target, and the countless big box organization that don’t care if your charity event is a success or your boy scout reaches his goal. We can’t cut prices on three “hot” items to entice you to purchase 237 others at the regularly inflated price. We don’t send our annual profits to CEO’s that don’t know the smell of pluff mud, the mystique of the sandbar or the sounds of Parris Island. We continue to sweep our porches, wipe our windows and pour our profits into the punchbowl of Beaufort.
We offer personality for your streets and charm for your visiting friends. We employ your neighbors, your children and those sitting next to you at church. Without our quirky names, our signature signs and our willingness to constantly give back to the community, things would look much different here in Beaufort. Dance cards, baseball shirts, cheerleading tees and silent auctions would highlight names of businesses that don’t know the names of the recipient.
This holiday season, while you are on your way to stand in long lines, stop by the small retailers in Beaufort for a little local shopping. We won’t be open on Thanksgiving, because we are most likely sitting right next to you at church or waiting for you to arrive at a feast for friends and family. Go ahead and visit a local business. You may find a few things to take off the list, see a few friends and contribute to an economy that sustains Beautiful Beaufort by the Sea. We can’t offer it all but what we do offer makes all the difference. Happy Shopping Beaufort, SC!!!