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Pioneer Editorial: Support your local stores

Even while we’re still recovering from the onslaught of political ads from the 2012 election, holiday shopping promotions are taking their place. “Black Friday” is coming up this week. That means your Thanksgiving Day Pioneer will be bigger than even a normal Sunday paper.

We also will feature a “Small Business Saturday” promotion in Friday’s paper, giving readers a look at local shopping options.

That gets us thinking about how our holiday shopping habits impact locally owned and operated businesses, which have been battling for survival against big-box and online retailers in recent years.

We understand that the “big guys” wouldn’t be here if they didn’t see an opportunity to succeed, and we acknowledge that the demographics of the Bemidji area contribute to that opportunity.

But we need to understand the importance of hometown businesses, and we encourage everyone who can to support them. That patronage keeps our local economy healthy as dollars circulate throughout the community.

This week also offers a chance to come together as a community to attend Friday’s Night We Light Parade and Lighting of the Pines to officially kick off the holiday season. With mild November weather expected, it should be a big night in downtown Bemidji.