You've heard it before: Spend your hard-earned cash at local businesses, and that money will benefit your community a lot more than if you'd blown it at a national retailer or a chain restaurant. But there's nothing wrong with a little reminder this time of year, when there's too much shopping to do, and the holidays give people more excuses to dine out.
Next week, there are two occasions for spending locally. First, there's Local First Arizona's "Buy Local Week," from December 8 to 14, which even has Mayor Phil Gordon's official blessing. There's also Shop and Share, on December 10, which is sponsored by the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation. Ten percent of sales at 11 neighborhood businesses -- including restaurants The Breadfruit, Fair Trade Cafe, Roosevelt Tavern, Nile Cafe, and Welcome Diner -- will be donated to HandsOn Greater Phoenix. -- Michele Laudig