By Senator Patty Ritchie
The holiday shopping season is upon us.
In this age of modern technology, it often means we can go online and with the simple click of a button from our phone or computer place an order.
Many of us will also be heading out to take to the stores looking for that holiday bargain.
However you choose to do your holiday shopping this year, if you are still thinking about what to get those special people in your life, you may also consider shopping right in your own backyard at locally-owned farms and businesses.
When you buy local, you not only support your neighbors and friends but all our hardworking farmers, while at the same time contributing to more job growth in the region.
Studies have found that for every $100 spent at a local business, there is a substantial return to the community.
To attract customers in the era of on-line shopping and big box stores, local merchants across Central and Northern New York are offering a wide selection of goods and products–from locally made quilts, candles and soaps to handmade wool sweaters, art work and jewelry–not to mention, just about everything in between.
You can find many unique gifts hand-made by local artisans and crafters that can’t be found elsewhere.
And while you are doing your holiday shopping, don’t forget our local farm businesses.
Whether it’s locally produced cider, honey or maple syrup, locally grown Christmas trees, craft beer and wine, cheese, beef, lamb, pork, chicken, wool or something a bit more exotic like bison, alpaca or fallow deer, our region’s farms, both large and small, have a variety of unique items to offer you.
Many of our local vendors will go out of their way to help you find a thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gift for that special person on your list.
Our local businesses are the fabric and foundation for a vibrant and strong community, making our villages, towns and cities better places to live and raise our families.
So, if you haven’t visited some of the businesses and stores in your community in a while, drop in now and check them out.
Remember, there’s no place like home for holiday shopping.