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Support the local economy: How buying presents at an independent business can mean more

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EUGENE, Ore. - We're now closing in on Christmas time, and every dollar you spend on gifts could have a big impact on the local economy.

In Eugene, some are saying no to the big retailers, and shopping locally for the holidays. More and more people are doing so, to keep local businesses thriving during their most profitable time of the year.

"My daughter works here, my son works here, he runs the internet shop, and my brother and I own the store," said Alan Agerter, with Eugene's Toy and Hobby.

Eugene's Toy and Hobby is a family owned business dating back to 1933. Alan Agerter is the 4th generation owner.

Despite the Walmart's and the Target's of the world, the shop has been welcoming customers for 84 years.

"I don't think we want to challenge any of the big guys, that's not smart," said Agerter. "But we do what we do and we try to do it very well."

Agerter credits the store's knowledge for lasting success, and its wide variety of new and classic toys, like model train sets.

For many shoppers, it's important to know where the money is going.

The Eugene area Chamber of Commerce says that each dollar spent at an independent business returns three times more money to our local economy than one spent at a national chain store, and almost 50 more times than buying online.

Nicole Desch is a small business owner, and a president of Downtown Eugene Merchants. She says shopping local is catching on.

"If people don't support local businesses, we wont have local businesses," said Desch.

Her own store downtown, Heritage Dry Goods, is stocked with items from hundreds of local vendors, which is why she wants people to get off line, and get in line.

In turn, local businesses like Eugene's Toy and Hobby will stay open for future generations to come.

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