Tis the season for making your lists and checking them twice, and we know plenty of the gifts on your lists can be found right here in our community.

“Shop Local” cannot be just a one-day event, catchy campaign or trendy hashtag. For those of us who own local businesses, it is what we are committed to every day. We know that small, locally owned businesses are why Buffalo is a healthy and vibrant community. Small, locally owned businesses provide livelihoods for families, support local clubs and non-profits, add character and enhance our quality of life.

Revenue captured locally supports city services like parks, streets and trails infrastructure and the fire and police departments. Local businesses also put money back into the community via local investment, wages and donations to local causes. Many of the amenities and events we enjoy in Johnson County would not be feasible without the substantial contributions of local businesses and business owners.

This year, First Northern Bank is joining the Buffalo Bulletin is to give you 5,000 additional reasons to do your holiday shopping locally. I Buy Buffalo is now in the second year of its campaign to reward shopping locally. From Nov. 20 until Dec. 24, when you make a retail purchase at participating stores, write your name and phone number on the back of your receipt and drop it in the box, and if we draw your receipt, we’ll pay for that purchase (up to $500). We’ll draw $1,000 worth of winners on Nov. 30, $2,000 more worth of winners on December 14 and $2,000 worth of winners on Dec. 30. 

I know that not everything you plan to purchase this season is available in town, but I Buy Buffalo encourages everybody to think first about a local option. It’s not just individuals, businesses have to think about this as well and not just during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I Buy Buffalo is a time to celebrate locally owned businesses and shift spending from chain stores and online giants to these businesses. We hope this campaign inspires you to take positive action by boosting the ripple effect of economic and community benefits received when you spend dollars at locally owned and independent businesses.

Remember I Buy Buffalo to win some Christmas cash!

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