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It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year. Between now, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day there is a lot of shopping, cooking, and festivities taking place. Large retailers and big-box stores start booming with business this time of year. Sadly, small shops are hurt when consumers choose Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and other large retailers over locally-owned businesses.

This holiday season you can easily support restaurants, artists, and creators by looking to small and local businesses, as well as people in the community who help make our towns and cities so valuable. Their crafts, hobbies and specialties just might make your Christmas more personalized and unique.

1. Buy Gifts Locally

It’s a simple concept to shop locally. When people opt to buy holiday gifts at stores in Downtown Racine, and other locales, it helps our community’s economy thrive. It may feel overwhelming knowing that small stores may not carry exactly what you are looking to buy. However, by browsing the selection of goodies at “Ma and Pa” shops, your Christmas is more individualized. Your children and grandchildren might not be opening the same gift as other kids their ages, but this will make your experience more intimate.

How to go about shopping locally? First, create a list of things that you are hoping to purchase. Visit local stores and see what they have available from your list. If the exact item is not on the shelf, try finding similar items that are in stock. If unable to find something, purchase a gift card to that store. Either return at a later date or give the gift card as a present. After the holidays wind down, so do sales, but giving gift cards keeps business circulating in our community after the holiday rush has ended.

Need any ideas about where to go? Visit the following websites for help:

2. Cater Your Holiday Events

With the hustle happening around the holidays, ditch spending all of your time cooking. Choose to cater instead this season. Local restaurants, bakeries, and businesses can help during the holiday season.

Most of the time, cooking a big Thanksgiving dinner can be exhausting. By the time you’re ready to eat, you’re burned out after pegging away in the kitchen. Parents can take away the stress when preparing for classroom parties by catering. Any event where food is served can be outsourced to local food-preparation shops.

By relying on nearby businesses, you’re not only helping to boost the local economy, but you are also able to focus on what’s really important at holiday parties, dinners, and events: family and loved ones.

3. Hire Local Photographers and Print Locally

Are you planning on taking family photos this holiday season? If you are sending out Christmas Cards, chances are you need an updated photo. Hire an independent photographer to shoot your family’s photos. When printing cards this holiday season, consider choosing a local printer. You’re likely to get a one-of-a-kind photo and card by using local creators this season.

4. Attend & Purchase Tickets to Local Events

Businesses, non-profits, churches and groups in the community will host different concerts, light shows, experiences, dinners and parties. Attending these events can help organizers and promote what’s happening in town. This is a great way to give, but also enjoy what’s going on around us this holiday season.

Visit the Racine County Eye’s events calendar to check out what activities and events are taking place in the next couple of months. Post your event by clicking here.

5. Share on Social Media

Social media is a great way to boost a business’s reputation. By connecting with local shops on Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, Twitter and Yelp you’re creating a relationship with these owners and social media managers. This is important for both consumers and sellers. Sharing a review, following, giving a page a like, or liking photos can help spread the word about a business, sale, or popular item. This also helps out future buyers and paints a picture for other community members.

The Holidays in Racine

Want to read more holiday content? Subscribe to the Racine County Eye to keep up to date with stories about the holidays in Racine. Check out these articles for additional news:

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