There are many reasons to shop locally - this year and always. Fort Dodge is a town that serves as a retail center for our region and has all the necessities we need. Our local businesses work very hard to provide goods and services for our community; they make investments in property (and pay property taxes here, from which we benefit greatly); they make investments in inventory (which provide sales tax for us) and they make investments in our community through donations to our schools, our athletic events, our charities and our non-profit organizations. They do this readily - they have made commitments to this region for the ''long haul''- they want to be here, and they are willing to risk their savings, their earnings and their free time to do this. They stake their future on having their businesses here.