The United States Small Business Administration is encouraging people to considering buying local for Christmas shopping.

"It sounds cliché, but locally owned small businesses truly are the heart and soul of our cities and towns. The holiday shopping season is a crucial time for small retailers and restaurants that depend upon the boost in sales earned between Thanksgiving and Christmas" wrote the U.S. Small Business Administration.

"Not so long ago, it was an American tradition to shop and explore at the local mega mall or vibrant small business district downtown. Brick-and-mortar businesses would promote their best deals of the year in hopes of luring shoppers to make a purchase, or at least browse their shelves full of merchandise. Today, online shopping has quickly become the preferred way Americans shop for holiday gifts. Recent surveys show that over 80 percent of shoppers make regular online purchases throughout the year. Given the dramatic shifts in the retail environment over the last 20 years, those holiday scenes and traditions are in danger of passing into the realm of nostalgic folklore.

"To better compete, small business owners have become very innovative in the way they sell and promote their products and services. An encouraging transformation born out of the pandemic is that many small business owners pivoted operating models to include e-commerce platforms, or changed product offerings, to meet the new demands of the online consumer. Some are even bringing back the retail traditions of the past by providing personalized one-on-one assistance to customers and the selling of locally produced niche items found nowhere else in town. Cottage businesses have started in record numbers as people realized their dream of small business ownership could begin in their basement or garage.

"The success of this year’s holiday shopping season will have a huge impact here in Wyoming and across the nation. It starts on Small Business Saturday and ends once the final cork is popped on New Year’s Eve. Wyoming’s 73,330 small businesses continue to generate two of every three net new jobs and deliver essential goods and services in both rural and urban communities. They employ more than 133,159 Wyomingites, give back to their local communities, and just make this state a better place to live in."

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Gallery Credit: Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media

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