Heila Ershadi

Dear readers,

Your support this year has meant everything. Whether you advertised with us, purchased our e-Edition, or sent us a kind word saying you appreciate our coverage: we thank you.

It was a difficult and even devastating year for so many across the world, in our country and in our community. The issues that we faced – are facing – are enormous and largely out of our personal control, including a deadly pandemic, economic turmoil, a national legacy of racism and, on top of it all, a toxic political polarization infecting every level of public discourse.

We can only control what is ours to control: we wear our masks, we practice physical distancing, we speak truth simply and without ill will. We take our opportunities to make a positive difference where we find them, perhaps through volunteering or donating money, or otherwise acting on our best intentions.

One way we can all pull together as a community right now is by foregoing online shopping with the big chains and putting our dollars into local small businesses.

In any year, there are plenty of compelling reasons to shop locally when possible, such as keeping money within the community and supporting unique local operations and the jobs they create. With holiday shopping, there is the added perk of being able to hand-select unique and personal gifts rather than ordering something mass-produced off the internet.

This year, your holiday shopping dollars could be especially crucial to the businesses in which you spend them–businesses run and staffed by our friends and neighbors. While Moab’s visitation and economic activity has seen a big rebound, many are still feeling the impact. But we can all make a difference for one another.

The Moab Sun News is a locally owned business and we are largely supported by other local businesses who advertise with us. The ads they run bring them more customers, and so they spend more with us to continue advertising. It is a circle of mutual benefit and emblematic of the synergy that is created when we spend our money within our community.

Earlier this year, we made the decision to frequently profile local small businesses in order to draw attention to our local entrepreneurs and the special products and services they provide. (And we are proud to say that the Moab Area Travel Council, also seeking to promote local businesses, posts Moab Sun News business profiles on its website that sees millions of visitors from around the world annually.)

Several of the local business owners interviewed for these profiles have commented on the importance of buying local, such as Back of Beyond Books owner Andy Nettell.

“Locally owned stores support our local sports teams and our local nonprofits, and provide personal hands-on service to our customers,” he said, adding, “Local businesses contribute to our tax base, unlike online retailers.”

Faye Hutchins, who owns the Main Street stores Indigo Alley and Desert Wild,

said she tries to buy locally whenever possible, and feels like making that effort is a positive thing she can do with belief in the saying that ‘what goes around, comes around.’

The article we have published in this week’s paper titled “Shop local this holiday season” is not – nor could it be – an exhaustive list of Moab businesses in which to holiday shop. But we hope it may be helpful in giving you ideas, and it shows we have many shopping options right here in town. And, for the proverbial ‘person who has everything,’ consider making a donation on their behalf to one of Moab’s many outstanding nonprofits. The pandemic has affected nonprofits as well just as their services are needed more than ever.

Please note that the hours listed are typical and subject to change. And please – please – stay safe while shopping by wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing.

We at the Moab Sun News look forward to serving you in 2021 with the highest quality local journalism. Thank you for reading and being a part of our newspaper community.