No place like home (town) for the holidays

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Camille Anglin at Jack’s Marine shows off a Q-Ba-Maze, a toy meant for adults.

Ask about the economy and you’re likely to hear people express cynicism about whether the country is recovering from the Great Recession, but national surveys are showing that since Black Friday, retailers are seeing an upturn in business this holiday season.

But what local merchants are hoping is that before you spend gasoline and time to go to box stores in the Hamptons and Riverhead, you’ll consider buying right here on Shelter Island. And if you’re away from the Island, they hope you’ll think of calling merchants here who will be delighted to ship your gifts to you wherever you are wintering.

Nobody is willing to speculate here on how this holiday season compares with last year, but all are determined to do what they can to increase sales, and, where possible, offer you those unique items you won’t find anywhere else.

Whether it’s major gifts or stocking stuffers, you can likely find it here and even get it gift wrapped. And, they say, their prices are competitive.

Local merchants — especially those who deal with perishables like flowers — hope customers will place orders early. They need to know what you want so they know what to order from their suppliers. And if you’re finding it hard to locate certain items in those big box stores, don’t assume your local merchants haven’t got them, merchants advise.

For a look at what’s available locally, and how merchants here are faring, see Thursday’s Reporter.