We started hearing the chant when the national economy began struggling more than a decade ago: Shop local. Shop local. Shop local.

Sahuarita hung signs, local businesses put flyers in their windows, newspapers wrote editorials encouraging shoppers to keep their dollars local — it strengthens the community and supports your friends and neighbors.

Today, with a more robust economy, the words still ring true. We also have a lot more reasons to “shop local” as our communities grow amid strong interest from national chains and with more local people stepping out in faith that the community will support them as they start a business.

We want to honor their hard work, and you can help.

We call it AZ19 Reader’s Picks, and it’s your opportunity to tell us about your favorite … Well, anything!

Dog groomer, nail salon, restaurant, a place to meet friends or have your car repaired. Coffee, cars, financial advisor, carpet cleaner, painter — almost anything you can think of. We’re taking your nominations through Aug. 30, and the voting is Sept. 15-30 (look for a special section!). The AZ19 Reader’s Pick breakfast is Oct. 9. It’s our way to boost local businesses in front of thousands of readers who live right here.

Look for nomination forms in the print edition of our paper or you can go online to www.gvnews.com/readerspick to tell us about your favorite business.

AZ19 Reader’s Pick is a great way to support local businesses that have made your life better. It’s also a way to thank the hard-working people who serve us our coffee, work on our vehicles or keep our homes in tip-top shape. We already have about 400 nominations and would love to hear from you!

— Dru Sanchez, publisher

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