Shopping locally for gifts has benefits and limitations

Source: Erin Kutz and Jayne O'Donnell, USA TODAY

Susan Fusaro of Jupiter, Fla., finds her local gourmet market, Carmine's, reminiscent of her former home in Long Island, N.Y. She often buys gift baskets at the Italian gourmet market for friends and clients. "The people that I give these to know the reputation of the shop and love the presents," says Fusaro, who is a Realtor. Doing holiday shopping at independent, local stores has benefits, including a wide selection of often-unique gifts and the chance to boost your area's economy, small retailers say.

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