Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Support local economy and small businesses over the holidays
Neighborhood shops incomparable to online shopping
While I'm in complete support of boycotting Cyber Monday and obsessively buying online, I do not support Maria Semple’s premise that though she'd like to encourage us to purchase holiday items at small brick-and-mortar businesses, doing so is in fact a nuisance and will cost us more money [“Shop neighborhoods on Cyber Monday,” Opinion, Nov. 26].
Visiting her Ballard toy store does not have to mean circling the block for a parking space if you're willing to walk a block or two. The additional $4 she paid for the game is $4 that might have been spent on shipping or handling as well as giving the shop owner $4 they can't possibly compete for with the likes of large online sites.
I understand the point Semple was making about the excellent customer service experienced at her friend's shop, but why not emphasize the selection or numerous sizes available in another garment and not the fact that it had to be ordered and shipped. We need to give the millions of online shoppers as much encouragement as possible to break their addiction.
I would also argue that there's joy and pleasure in shopping at neighborhood shops. It's called an actual in-person conversation, an exchange of smiles and knowledge about your purchases that would not be possible with a click.
Small businesses will always be there for us if we are there for them.
— Emily Bader, Seattle
Keep Washington money in Washington
It was good to see The Times editorial board recently championing small Washington-owned businesses and locally made products as a way to keep Washington money circulating in our local economy [“Black Friday offers consumers deals, opportunity to help ailing economy,” Opinion, Nov. 23].
May the editorial board see similar advantages in the Washington Investment Trust (WIT), a proposal being submitted once more at next year’s state legislative session. WIT legislation envisions a state infrastructure “bank.” Over time, WIT would develop into a depository for the day-to-day revenues of the state and its municipalities, as well as being a source of loans to local and regional governments for infrastructure projects.
The advantages are that the fees now paid by the state and local governments to the Wall Street banks for similar financial services would be eliminated, loans to local governments by WIT for infrastructure projects could be expected to have lower rates than charged by traditional banking sources, and Washington state money would stay in Washington state to benefit state citizens rather than sent out of state to benefit the Wall Street derivative community.
Keeping Washington money circulating in Washington state is an objective that all the state's citizens can endorse.
— J.W. Lavelle, Seattle