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Bates: Think twice before purchasing online

I just received a phone call from an agitated chamber member telling a story about another member ordering items online. These products could have easily been purchased at the former’s establishment. This concerns me.

Yes, we can order our trips online, we can order flowers online, we can order our business cards online, we can order jewelry online.Yet these are all items that can be bought locally, often with better care

Think about it. Travel agent Worldwide Traveler helping to plan a destination wedding for a local resident vs. an online entity planning the same wedding. Who do you think will take better care in making the dream wedding come true? An online entity or someone who has to look you in the face at the grocery store?

Flowers? Did you know that you can order these locally even if they are for someone out of the area? Business cards? I have seen Vistaprint products and I am not impressed. Much better done locally.

Are you purchasing a ring for that special someone this Christmas? What does it say when an online bargain ring is delivered vs. one from Steffan’s, a four-generation company built on integrity?

Just think twice before you purchase online. How would you would feel if another member decided he would prefer to purchase online than from you? You would be just as upset as the agitated member discussed earlier.

This holiday season, let us make a renewed effort to support our local businesses and chamber members. Remember, if we want them to shop at our business or purchase from our organization, then we had better purchase from them!

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Dec. 4 is the chamber’s annual Christmas Party at Chili’s Barbecue and Grill. Enjoy the tasty hors d' oeuvres and beverages while wishing your chamber friends a wonderful holiday season. The party starts at 5 pm.

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Now is the time to brush off the cobwebs of your chamber membership. Starting in January consider a referral group or a committee involvement. What better way to meet those who can help your business grow?

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WINGs is featuring a perfect luncheon for the ladies at holiday time. Holiday Joy, Old Friends, Weight Gain and Conflict – You've Got to Love it! We will learn from the experts at Meijer and Out of the Box Parenting how to prepare healthy yet memorable holiday celebrations while avoiding pitfalls.

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Save the date for The McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce “Derby Dance, Race for the Roses.” This dance comes complete with hats, mint juleps and roses. Date is Jan. 26 at D’Andrea Banquets. Complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres begin at 6 p.m. with a filet mignon and champagne chicken dinner following. Sweet table and complimentary beverages from 9 to 11 p.m. Cocktail attire. Back by popular demand is dance band Lori Shane & the Mix.

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Only 20 more booths are available at the Early Bird rate for the Chamber EXPO. "Life is a Journey" is a twist on traditional expos, encouraging booths to network with other members in their niche market while interacting with the community. Date is Feb 16 at McHenry High School West Campus.

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Soon to launch is our McHenry NOW mobile App, encouraging the community to shop local with special offers, company event listings and video.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

• Kay Rial Bates is the president and chief executive officer of the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at kay@mchenrychamber.com.

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