With the holiday season upon us, I want to remind Marylanders that shopping locally is the best way to support our hometown communities and local entrepreneurs. Ever since taking office, I’ve encouraged you to put your local dollars back into local pockets. As my fourth and final term as comptroller comes to an end, I’m sticking with that message and urging everyone to take part in our annual “Shop Maryland and Save for the Holidays” campaign (”Rising costs are nibbling at Thanksgiving budgets this year in Baltimore,” Nov. 21).
This past year has seen families grapple with many financial challenges like high gas prices and record inflation levels eating into budgets. The country is still recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and experiencing supply chain problems. Shoppers see this every time they go to the grocery store and pay more for a gallon of milk or when their delivery is delayed.
Similarly, small businesses are still smarting from the pandemic’s impact and face the same inflationary costs and supply change issues while trying to serve their customers. These mom-and-pop businesses are the beating heart of Maryland’s economy and they need your continued support.
Once again, I’m pleased to partner with Maryland credit unions, which are offering incentives to shop at local businesses and save this holiday season. Each participating credit union is offering different rewards to members. It’s best to check with your financial institution to see how you can save on interest rates or rack up extra reward points. It all adds up to more money in your pocket and a happy holiday purchase. Check the Maryland Comptroller’s website (marylandtaxes.gov) or contact a credit union for more information.
Retailers are aware that these budgetary pressures may impact consumer spending this season and have been advertising holiday deals well in advance of the traditional Black Friday markdowns. So, there’s no better time than now to take advantage of these savings and if you’re a credit union member, you get even more bang for your buck.
From Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore and everywhere in between, there are regional, one-of-a kind items, products and services to make your loved ones happy and to enhance your own gift-giving experience. No matter what is on your wish list, these purchases at a local retailer or business supports local jobs and ensures the success of your hometown store. The larger effect is on the local community, as your money stays where it’s needed the most.
So as you prepare for the season of joy and good cheer, make sure to Shop Maryland and Save for the Holidays and I wish everyone the happiest of holidays. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your comptroller for the last 16 years — it has been the honor of my lifetime!
— Peter Franchot, Annapolis
The writer is the 33rd Comptroller of Maryland.
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