Editorial: Shop local for the holidays 

Most Maine businesses would be considered small. Companies with fewer than 500 employees make up about three-fifths of Maine’s private workforce, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and those employees live and work in your neighborhoods. 

The last two years have been a challenge for local businesses across Maine. As we enter the holiday shopping season, keep those businesses in mind. 

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend an average of $700 per person on holiday season shopping this year. If some, most or all of that money is spent locally, it will have tremendous impact.  

Not only do local businesses employ local people, but they also play an important role in the community. They typically support Little League teams, donate to fundraisers and volunteer at community events.  

Local businesses often support other local businesses, purchasing their products or contracting for their services. What comes around goes around, and in a small town it is noticed.  

When you shop local this year, you might even find something unexpected. It has been well documented that supply-chain issues are wreaking havoc across industries, and the holiday shopping market is not immune. As retailers are forced to rethink the products they typically carry for the holidays, there could be new and exciting options available. 

So before you order from Amazon, take a walk through some shops in your hometown and see what’s available. If you still can’t find the perfect gift for Aunt Sally, then go ahead and peruse online with a clear conscious.  

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