Family-run businesses are the backbone of the Shelter Island economy. And these businesses — some new, some decades old — are a huge part of what makes the Island such a unique place to live and visit.
Small-business owners also serve as de facto community leaders. They sit on boards of local nonprofits as well as town-appointed boards. They run for office. Above all, they get involved.
Their names, or those of their businesses, appear at Island events such as the annual Real Men Wear Pink breast cancer awareness beach gathering or Thanksgiving weekend’s Turkey Plunge, just to name two of many.
These businesses’ names are found on every program and pamphlet for charitable events. When a local family faces a tragic circumstance, local business owners are usually the first to open their hearts and, most importantly, their wallets. These are hard-working men and women of vision who truly help our Island flourish.
But they need your support.
In the pages of this newspaper and on our website, you’ll find dozens of ads from area businesses, some funny, some pretty, some just informative. They make it possible for our editorial staff to bring you news and information day and night and to keep the community engaged.
Even if you are the most dedicated of newshounds, please take time also to notice what your friends and neighbors are offering through their print and online ads. What you’ll find is a wide range of products and services no big box store or mall could ever match.
What you won’t find is midnight madness or fights over doorbuster sales.
That’s why shopping here at home is so heartening.
We at the Reporter are challenging all our readers this holiday season to visit Island stores and pick up at least one gift from a small-business owner.
It’s easy. The Island merchants can provide for everyone your list, and for those who have all gifts covered, there are still stocking stuffers and that one extra gift for someone special.
Buy local this holiday season, and keep the Island thriving.