Hey Santa, will you grant my wishes?

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

December 19, 2011

I’ve been managing editor for the last 10 years at this newspaper and during that time the News Department has written dozens and dozens of stories about local businesses. Those stories are a complement to the “Focus on Business” and “Hometown Business Spotlight” features assembled by the Sales Department.

Simply put, we have as a matter of course supported local businesses in ways that other news outlets have not.

It’s in our DNA. The reason this company was founded was to provide locally owned businesses with an effective and affordable means to convey their message to the audience they wanted to reach. Almost 50 years later, we are still doing that with these newspapers, our website, our Facebook page and the services we offer businesses through Envision Marketing Group.

This is nothing new. I’ve written about the 3/50 Project before. My staff has highlighted young businesspeople in a series of articles.

The story I assembled last week about buying locally made products at, hopefully, locally owned stores, was designed to underscore an important economic message at a time of the year when people are spending money.

The story wasn’t designed to be a comprehensive list — it couldn’t be — but rather one that would make people think a moment about the choices they have before them.

Naturally, there are many businesses I didn’t list by name. For instance, I didn’t note any specific restaurant although we have featured many locally owned eateries in these pages. I mentioned three bakeries because they form an informal district, although there are many great local bakeries.

The effort we are making to try to steer more dollars into the local economy is one that is ongoing. The story we ran was just another in a series of stories trying to boost local business.

So, here is one of my many Christmas wishes: if you have a locally owned business that you believe is newsworthy, please send me an email. If you are manufacturing something that is sold locally, send me an email. If you are selling something locally made, send me an email.

I’d be happy to consider stories from your emails as part of our ongoing campaign to strengthen the local economy.

***


Speaking of Christmas wishes, I’m unsure what should be included in my letter to Santa this year. Granted I’m composing such a note rather late in the game, but life has been a bit unsettled recently.

I would ask Santa if he could send along some clarity about the whole 2012 as the end of the world situation. Some people say the Mayan calendar thing is bunk, while others are getting ready for the apocalypse.

I just would like to know because, if it is true, I’m not worrying about house and car payments.

I would also like to ask Santa for a more temperate weather pattern this year — that is if the world is not ending. A blizzard, tornado, microburst and Halloween snowstorm have given the home improvement industry a boon, but the rest of us have become a bit battered.

Even though I report on politics, I would love if Santa could make various outside attack ads go away. I don’t mind commercials paid for and approved by candidates, but all the rest should go bye-bye.

Please, Santa, tell folks to give me more than just a couple of hours notice on planned news events such as press conferences. And let me know what your time management secret is so I can cover two things at once.

And Santa please put a couple of fountain pens under the tree. They are great writing implements.

Oh, and Santa, I can’t be a good editor if I don’t have a couple of cigars and a bottle of bourbon for stress relief.

Merry Christmas to all of our readers and advertisers. Thanks for your support.

Hey, agree with me? Disagree? Drop me a line at news@thereminder.com or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.

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