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October 23, 2008 3:01 am

With national economic woes, shopping locally important

Written by Tribune Staff

While Wyoming is faring better than most places in America economically, residents here still naturally worry about the economy. In recent weeks, Wall Street scares have placed the economy as the No. 1 issue for Wyoming voters.

In a Mason-Dixon Polling & Research poll for the Casper Star-Tribune, 65 percent of Wyoming voters polled said the economy was at the forefront of issues in the upcoming election. That number may not seem that high, considering the current state of America's economy, but in August, only 36 percent of voters rated the economy as their No. 1 issue, according to the Associated Press.

Going into the election, voters obviously expect politicians to address, and hopefully fix, America's declining economic condition.

Besides marking the ballot on Nov. 4 for the candidates who will best address economic troubles, voters can take action by shopping locally.

For the most part, money spent in the community stays in the community.

When schools, religious groups, non-profit organizations and others do fundraisers, Powell's businesses provide products and money over and over again. Our local commerce invests in the community, and now more than ever, it's time to invest in our local economy to keep it vital.

Another reason to shop local —which also ties into a hot issue in America at the moment — is that it's better for the environment. By shopping locally, we create less traffic and pollution.

In a few short weeks, all the frenzy of election campaigning and media coverage will dwindle, but the economy will remain a crucial challenge for newly-elected officials. While we can all hope that those who take the reins in the city, state and federal governments will help rebuild the nation's economy, we can do our part to shop local and encourage the economy at home.