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HOLIDAYS Still time to shop with local merchants

With Black Friday behind us, it’s time to remember to shop local

You see the signs in businesses all the time, reminding you that patronizing these local gems employs your neighbors and invests in your community.

Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, released a report just last month noting that fewer individuals who work for small businesses are being laid off this year compared to 2021. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that new businesses are in a growth spurt as we move past the pandemic.

This is the time to support these entrepreneurs.

The retail sector directly employs 32 million Americans and is the largest private-sector source of jobs, according to the National Retail Federation.

According to the Small Business Administration and Forbes magazine, small businesses accounted for 62 percent of jobs created between 1995 and 2020 and 44 percent of all U.S. economic activity.

Small businesses keep your dollars in our community. They know you by name — not because they track you through your browsing habits — and know your order or favorite pieces by heart. They offer a level of service often unmatched by other retailers and the convenience of shopping in your own community or neighborhood.

Whether it’s shopping directly or supporting local businesses via social media by liking or sharing content, you can make a difference right here in our community.

We hope if you didn’t have an opportunity to visit and shop at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, you will remember them — and all they do to enrich our communities — when you do have an opportunity to shop.

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