Over the past couple years, I have made a huge effort to support local businesses. I admittedly used to shop big-box-style on a regular basis, but have curtailed that habit to a minimum. I believe in the full circle thing, and frankly, it feels better to shop small.
Some people shy away from shopping at local businesses because "things cost more," or they like the convenience of getting a bunch of products in one place. I guess it's a matter of what's important to you. Giant parking lots, hundreds of shopping carts to choose from, and those overhead brain-numbing fluorescent lights -- a few more of the things I don't miss when shopping small. (OK, so parking in Kent isn't the most convenient right now, but it's still worth circling the block a couple of times to find a spot, or better yet, walking a little bit.)
Downtown Kent is comprised of many excellent small businesses, owned and operated by our very own Kent people. We're actually at a point where you can get most everything you need -- right here: locally roasted coffee, fresh-cooked meals, hand-crafted items, uncommon toys, baked goods of every kind, art galore, fresh tattoos, shoes, outdoor wear and other great stuff. You can also find a lawyer, get a massage, take dance or yoga, do your banking, or get your car fixed -- right here in downtown Kent.
Yes, shopping small during the holidays is important, but it's a habit and a state of mind that needs to be cultivated year-round. If we take care of our local merchants, they'll take care of us, by bringing the character to our downtown that makes this place so great. Shop Kent.