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Shop early and shop local this holiday season, business owners urge

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EUGENE, Ore. -- As the busy holiday season approaches, local business owners are sharing a message with buyers: shop early and shop local.

This comes after a whirlwind of opened and closed doors, shortages and a growing fight to stay afloat financially.

Sarah Dooley is the president and founder of Marley’s Monsters on Pearl Street in Eugene.

“Shopping local -- it supports our community,” Dooley said. “It supports our neighbor’s children through school. It supports food on the table in our whole neighborhood.”

Dooley said the support goes farther than many realize.

“It goes to the staff that that family supports,” Dooley said. “It goes to the construction team that build the building. It goes so much deeper than that one person or one family-owned company.”

Her store makes eco-friendly swaps for disposable items, such as UNpaper® Towels. All of their products are made locally. 

With supply chain issues at the global level and small businesses experiencing financial woes, many say how you shop now can play a massive impact on our local economy.

Chef Andre Royal, a local author of children's books, also shared his thoughts.

“Behind these businesses are people,” Royal said. “They’re families. They're a whole network of what comprises our community. You can’t always get that online. Sometimes you need that in-person connection. People are trying to pay their mortgages and also trying to pay their respects to the community that’s raised and supported them.”

Royal said it’s a collective job that we all share.

“I think one of the least things we can do is support the artisans that come about from that community and give them a place to feel welcome and make it fiscally possible for them to sustain themselves and create their work,” Royal said.

He said the time is now to look out for one another, to share resources and to give support.

“If you have an idea or product, the first place you should be welcome is where you're from and where you’re at,” Royal said. “That's the starting point.”

Eugene resident Debbie Sigfridson shared her thoughts when it comes to holiday shopping this time around.

“Everybody’s needing help right now,” Sigfridson said. “It’s gonna be different because of the supply shortages. People are having trouble with inflation.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that consumer prices on an annual basis have increased 5.4 percent with producer prices jumping 8.6 percent annually.

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