Shelter Island Reporter editorial: It’s time to buy local

The theme of this editorial is usually conveyed around Christmas (no fear, we’ll be back in December with the same idea).

It’s about buying local. And, please, don’t wait for Christmas. With Island shops, stores and restaurants finally getting their financial noses above water as the pandemic recedes from our shores, it’s essential that they can stay in business and have a traditional summer season once again.

The warmer weather, and long, sunny days, should remind us of many things, including helping our neighbors through these difficult times.

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.

Small-business owners also serve as de facto community leaders. They sit on boards of local nonprofits and serve as members of town committees. They run for office. Above all, they get involved.

Their names, or those of their businesses, appear as sponsors of Island events such as those connected to the Island Gift of Life Foundation or the Friends of the Library, just to name two of many.

These businesses are found on programs and pamphlets for charitable events. When a local family faces a tragic circumstance, local business owners are usually the first to open their hearts and wallets.

These are hard-working men and women of vision who truly help the Island thrive.

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 provide news and information day and night and to keep the community engaged.

Please take time 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 long lines, or customers and store staff stressed out, or fights over doorbuster sales.

Buy local this summer season, and keep the Island alive and thriving.