WHAT OTHERS SAY: Thank you for shopping this holiday season

Sunday, November 27, 2011 | 3:44 p.m. CST; updated 7:30 p.m. CST, Monday, November 28, 2011

Some Americans didn't like the idea of retailers opening their door-buster sales earlier this year, even encroaching on the Thanksgiving Day holiday. But, several hundred million people apparently agreed with the wacky plan.

The National Retail Federation estimated that more than 226 million people shopped over the holiday weekend. The hype about the earlier sales — probably even the lukewarm resistance by critics — is helping increase those numbers.

Doors opening earlier for dramatic savings in fact offered a remedy for both those who need the extra savings to make ends meet and for retailers who desperately need excited crowds of shoppers. The only way retailers and manufacturers can stay in the black is if their customers show up and grow in number.

That's what happened on Friday, and we're glad to see it.

It is good to remember, however, that both the large national chains that can afford lower prices and lots of advertising aren't the only game in town.

The economy also depends on small businesses. So, while you're gobbling up the big savings with a few hundred of your neighbors at the big box stores, put a little back to spend at a mom-and-pop shop. The small businesses that make up a critical part of our local economy need you, too.

Great deals are good for household budgets. Shopping is good for the economy.

We are off to a good start. Now let's hit the small shops to make a difference for all of us.

Copyright Springfield News-Leader. Reprinted with permission.

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