Wayne Livingston 2019

It seems like the children are barely back at school—at home or in the classroom—but the stores are already filling up with Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations and gifts.

One of the biggest casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic is the locally owned small business. Do your part this holiday season to help them stay in operation.

Take a look down the street. Check on Main Street for businesses that sell the same items you buy online. Even if they’re not open yet, they’re probably taking online and telephone orders. Buy the bulk of your holiday gifts, decorations and food from locals.

Visit your local farmers markets. Many of them stayed open during the pandemic, and now is the time to repay the favor. Some are allowing customers to preorder. How great would a fresh turkey from a local farm taste for your Thanksgiving feast? What could be better than fresh, locally grown vegetables as side dishes and pies homemade by someone with a business right down the street from your home?

Shop for the holidays and beyond. As long as you’re shopping, think about the birthday and anniversary gifts you’ll need over the next year—and buy them now. That way, you’ll give some local businesses a boost when they need it the most. Plus, you’ll be prepared when it’s time to wrap those gifts later.

Invest in local shops by purchasing gift cards: Buying gift cards now to spend once the economy improves infuses your favorite small business with cash at a time when it might be cash-strapped. You would spend the money anyway; why not do it in advance if you can afford it now?

Order carryout from local restaurants. Start buying your morning coffee from a local café instead of from a national chain. Find a favorite restaurant with outdoor dining, and go there with your family whenever you’re feeling like a socially distanced evening on the town. Pick up carryout from a locally owned diner a little more often than you ordinarily would.


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