This isn’t the first time we’ve asked for our residents to buy local, but it’s taken on a whole new level lately.

With retail stores announcing nationwide closings, it’s imperative that we do all we can to support local retail stores to remain open.

Gordman’s announced all their stores were closing nationwide. Game Stop is closing outlets across the country, as are JC Penneys, Sears, Kmart, Payless ShoeSource and Rue 21. So far, Dodge City has lost no retail stores as the JC Penneys, Payless ShoeSource and Rue 21 locally survived the recent closings.

But, the warning signs are there. Hastings and Alco both closed locally when their parent companies declared bankruptcy and closed up stores nationwide. Now, more stores are closing and the future looks bleak.

We can turn things around by buying local. If we continue to support local businesses, we prove to ourselves and to others we are a good place to expand. We want more retail in this community. We want new stores to come to our city and invest in the people of Dodge City and Ford County.

We do this by shopping locally for everything we can — food to hardware, shoes to pet supplies.

We’ve heard every reason for going out-of-town to shop. More choices, better selections. It may be all true.

However, it takes gas to go out of town. It might require an overnight stay. These are expenses shopping in town doesn’t cost anyone anything.

Know also, that by shopping local stores, we’re helping our local economy, supporting our neighbors in their business endeavors. Why take that elsewhere?

We’ve said this before and it still stands — retail will come to Dodge City when it’s proven we will support it. The next time a shopping trip is planned, point the car downtown — not Wichita. Explore the many options available in town before loading the car up for a trip.

We can survive — even thrive — if we all pull together and all in the same direction.

Shop local.