OCEAN COUNTY – Shop local this holiday season. That is the message that members of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners are stressing to shoppers this holiday season.
“This time of year has some of the biggest economic impacts on our local economy and especially our small businesses,” said Ocean County Commissioner Joseph H. Vicari, liaison to tourism and business development.
“When we shop local, we help the backbone of our local economy,” he added. To reinforce that message the Ocean County Board of Commissioners was scheduled to pass a resolution at its Dec. 1 meeting urging residents to shop at small, local businesses.
“We want our business owners to know that we support them. We know times have been difficult as we all navigate the challenges left by the coronavirus pandemic,” Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Gary Quinn said.
Quinn added that shopping at small, local businesses is “a great way to show business owners that we understand how valuable they are to our communities.”
Vicari noted the Ocean County Division of Tourism and Business Development has been highlighting small businesses throughout Ocean County on its social media pages on Instagram and Facebook.
“Every day we are featuring a local, small business with photos and a brief description. We are building momentum for the season,” Vicari added.
He also recommended shoppers check with local chambers of commerce and business associations to find out what might be offered by small businesses in their area.
“Small businesses are truly the heart and soul of our communities. The Ocean County business community has been uniquely impacted by the pandemic since tourism and hospitality represent such a high percentage of the economic activity here. It’s vital to our small businesses that we do all we can to help them,” Vicari remarked.
Vicari said, “we have a host of great downtowns, and main streets that are filled with local, small businesses offering up gift ideas.” He noted that people can also shop local businesses online.
The holiday shopping season is a good time for consumers to tap into all of the great stores throughout Ocean County.
Vicari said he “couldn’t stress enough the importance this holiday season of buying from small, locally owned businesses. Gift cards for restaurants, electronics, clothing, toys, the list is endless. And remember to patronize other locally owned businesses like dry cleaners and hardware stores.”
“These business owners are the ones we turn to when we need help, whether supporting our local charities, a community member in need or during difficult times. Now, it’s our turn to help them. Their economic health is the county’s economic health,” Vicari added.