To the Editors:

The Wilton Chamber of Commerce is asking everyone in the town of Wilton to make a conscious choice to shop local this holiday shopping season. It is extremely important to support our local businesses to maintain our beautiful and unique community.

We all benefit when we shop local — here is what happens:

 More of your money will be kept in our local economy. For every $100 spent, $68 stays in the community. (Civic Economics - Andersonville Study of Retail Economics)

 You embrace what makes our community unique.

 You create local jobs. Local businesses are better at creating higher-paying jobs for your neighbors.

 You help the environment. Shopping locally conserves energy and resources.

 You nurture community. Local business owners know you, and they donate to community causes at a much higher rate than large chains.

 You conserve your tax dollars. Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance and more money available to beautify your community.

 You create more choice. Locally owned businesses select the items and products they sell, based on their local markets.

 You take advantage of their expertise. You are friends and neighbors and locally owned businesses have a vested interest in knowing how to serve you. They are passionate about what they do.

 You will be investing in entrepreneurship. Creativity and entrepreneurship are what the American economy is founded upon. Nurturing local business ensures a strong community.

 You can make your community a destination. The more interesting and unique our community is, the more we will attract new neighbors, visitors and guests. This benefits everyone!

We wish all a wonderful holiday season and thank you for shopping local!

Debra Hanson

Executive Director

Wilton Chamber of Commerce