The issue: Tariffs are taking their toll on family budgets and the holidays aren’t even here yet.

What we think: Shopping at local retailers or donating to nonprofits are ways around the price hikes.

Tell us what you think: Send us an email at editorial@csbj.com.

November is upon us, bringing with it the start of the holiday season. The real start, we mean, not that soft “Halloween aisle and Christmas aisle side-by-side” stuff that kicks off at big box stores in September.

Regardless, ’tis the season for holiday cheer — meaning food, family, festivities and lots of spending.

Just how much? A survey released Oct. 24 by the National Retail Federation estimates that the average American consumer will shell out $1,047.83 this holiday season, a 4 percent increase over 2018. It breaks down this way:

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• $658.55 in gifts for family, friends and colleagues;

• $227.26 on greeting cards; and

• $162.02 on other purchases that take advantage of deals and promotions throughout the season.

It just so happens that all this economic infusion is coming our way smack dab in the middle of a price-jacking, tit-for-tat international tariff war.

New tariffs levied in 2018 and in the first six months of 2019 cost American households an estimated $800 a year, according to PBS and EconoFact, with a burden of $500 to $1,700 projected for 2020.

Colorado Springs is home to myriad innovative small-scale retailers, makers and culinarians who don’t just create and offer unique items, but who turn around and infuse their own dollars into our economy.

When you purchase something from their store or an original item that they’ve made, you are not only supporting their livelihoods, you are infusing their pocketbooks with cash that they, in turn, can spend right here in the Springs.

And that can make a big impact as a building block for our economy.

A study by the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development found that for every $100 spent at a local business, $73 stays in the local economy. On the flipside, for every $100 spent at a major chain — you know, the kind that imports consumer goods despite increasing tariffs — some $57 exits the local economy. Sure, taxes and wages stay in the community, but at the expense of so many benefits.

Of course, holiday giving doesn’t have to be limited to things. Here in the Pikes Peak region, hundreds of organizations serve needs ranging from childhood interventions to wild animal rehabilitation; provide food for the hungry and jobs for the physically or developmentally challenged; and educate, inform, advocate for and enrich the lives of the neighbors they serve.

These organizations struggle daily to keep their lights on, and in some cases rely almost entirely on member and community support to stay afloat.

Why not find one that meshes with the giftee’s personal ethics and make a donation in that person’s name? We’ll even help you out.

On Nov. 1, we kicked off our 11th annual Give! campaign. This charitable effort of The Colorado Springs Business Journal, the Indy and our other sister publications will help more than 100 local nonprofits with marketing, fundraising and storytelling through the end of the year. Head to indygive.com, do some research and make a tax-deductible donation directly to the organization(s) of their choice.

This holiday season wrap up a gift that makes a positive impact on your community. We’re willing to bet the recipient will appreciate it a lot more than another ugly Christmas sweater.

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