Drive to one of the malls, where maybe you can find a parking place after cruising around for half an hour, head in to the stores where maybe you will be served by a non-seasonal worker who knows what he/she is talking about, wait in long lines at one of their eateries where maybe you will get good service, then head home feeling frazzled.
Walk or drive into downtown Summit with a friend, stroll through the compact and lovely downtown, explore the many unique and appealing small stores, get expert advice from store owners or employees who are friendly and knowledgeable, then choose one of Summit's many restaurants for lunch or dinner, where you are sure to be served by friendly staffers. Head home feeling happy that you got the perfect gifts for your family and friends, and feeling good that you supported local businesses who themselves support the Summit community.
Holiday shopping really can be a pleasant experience, and Summit merchants work hard to offer you the best products at competitive prices. For example, Summit’s houseware, clothing and gift shops offer many specialty items in the $10-$30 range. The local merchants handpick their products for their quality, value, and uniqueness, and they offer excellent advice; ask for help and you’re sure to walk away with the perfect choice. And after you factor in driving or shipping costs of items purchased elsewhere, Summit looks even better.
Shopping here in Summit, rather than in malls, big-box stores, or other towns, benefits more than just the businesses themselves; it benefits the community as a whole. Local businesses give real money back to Summit in the form of taxes and salaries, as well as financial support via donations of funds and services to schools and community groups.
The holiday season affords the perfect opportunity for shoppers to check out what local businesses have to offer. There are more than 250 businesses in Summit. One of the easiest ways to find out what is available is to check the Summit Downtown website (click on the shopping link) and the Think Local First Facebook page. So dial the stress of holiday shopping down a notch by enjoying a relaxing day right here in Summit, and enjoy your holidays.
By Beth Lovejoy, on behalf of the Summit Environmental Commission