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Christmas Shopping

Senator Doug Whitsett
R- Klamath Falls, District 28

Phone: 503-986-1728 900 Court St. NE, S-303, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: sen.dougwhitsett@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/whitsett
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E-Newsletter 11/29/11

The arrival of the Christmas shopping season is bringing much welcomed economic activity to our beleaguered business communities. Early analysis indicates that retail sales this year on “Black Friday” were nearly 20 percent higher than on the same day last year.


Studies show that Americans buy about 25 percent of their annual retail purchases during the Christmas season. In fact, the average family spends more than $1,500 on Christmas related purchases. This annual surge in shopping activity provides rural communities the very real opportunity to help themselves by buying locally provided services and locally produced products.

For instance, I estimate that there are at least 20,000 households living within a few minutes driving distance of the greater Klamath Falls retail community that will spend well more than $30 million dollars during this Christmas season. More than 80,000 household in the Medford area will spend in excess of $120 million and the 8,500 households in the Prineville area will spend more than $12 million.

We all know that a lot of the Christmas gifts that we buy and receive are not really needed and are often not even used. What if we made a conscious effort to purchase things that people actually use every day? What if we focused only half our Christmas spending on locally provided services and locally produced products? We could pump tens of millions of dollars into our local business communities during the next five weeks working together to buy locally.

Moreover, by purchasing gifts for future services we would help to create and sustain the local jobs that provide those services. That job sustaining activity would extend far beyond the Christmas season. Folks could redeemed their gift card services, or use them to purchase locally produced products, over a period of several weeks or months. The money would stay in our communities and serve to strengthen the small businesses that create and sustain the preponderance of private sector jobs.

Virtually countless services that people need, use and enjoy can be purchased as a Christmas gift.

For example:

o For our automobiles: car wash, cleaning and detailing, oil change, tune-up, mount or dismount snow tires, wheel alignment, brakes and auto body or mechanical repair.

o For our households: dry cleaning, interior cleaning, window washing, interior painting, carpet and vinyl, exterior painting, deck repair, rain gutters, and even remodeling projects.

o For our yards: lawn and yard care, weed eating, tree trimming, pick up and disposal of garbage and junk, driveway repaving or replacement gravel, and the purchase of locally grown plants, shrubs and trees for landscaping projects.

o For our youth: movie theater tickets, bowling, music lessons, skating lessons, skiing lessons, tutoring and job opportunities such as babysitting, tutoring, or yard care.

o For our pets: grooming, boarding, veterinary care including spay and neuter, vaccinations, microchip identification, dental care, and annual wellness exams.

o For food services: gift certificates to your favorite restaurant or coffee shop, take-out fast food, bakeries, coffee kiosks, meat markets or supermarket gift card.

o For personal treatments: hair care, manicure, pedicure, facials, massage, weight loss programs, exercise programs, personal training, and dental care including teeth cleaning, whitening and repair.

o For elder care: Meal preparation, transportation, and help with personal hygiene and home maintenance.

o For personal business: tax preparation, financial and investment planning, debt counseling and mortgage consultation.

Finally, money and goods contributed to local charities such as the Food Bank, Gospel Mission, Goodwill, Salvation Army, and many others will not only help other less fortunate people during the Christmas season and beyond, but will also circulate through the community helping to stimulate local commerce and to create and sustain local jobs.

These are only a few of innumerable Christmas gift possibilities. We can make a significant difference in our local economy by focusing our purchasing power on local provided services and locally produced products. We also may find that the gifts that we give and receive are actually both more useful and better appreciated.

These are gifts that truly keep on giving by circulating and re-circulating through our business communities. A cash infusion of tens of millions of dollars into our local economies, for the benefit of those local economies, can only benefit our people and the communities where they live.

Please remember, if we do not stand up for rural Oregon… no one will.

Best Regards,


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              Page Updated: Tuesday December 06, 2011 03:25 AM  Pacific

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