“If you don’t shop small and local, we’re not going to be here” Business owners urging to shop local for holidays

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OLD TOWN, Mich. (WLNS)– Now more than ever, there has been a huge push to shop local this holiday season, as many local businesses have struggled to survive through this pandemic.

“If you don’t shop small and local, we’re not going to be here,” said Celeste Saltzman, the owner of a women’s apparel shop in Old Town, called Retail Therapy.

Bradly Rakowski is the owner of Bradly’s Home and Garden, which sells home decor, furniture and more. His shop is down the street from Retail Therapy.

Rakowski says they’ve noticed an increase in business, while Saltzman says she’s noticed a decrease recently.

Through this pandemic, it hasn’t been easy.

“I thought for sure we were going to have to close our doors, I really did and I was kind of… panicking,” said Rakowski.

Small Business Saturday and holiday shopping are where a lot of revenue is made at local businesses. This year, with online shopping taking off, local shops are competing against big corporate companies.

“We are not going to have the same products that they would have at those big box stores, all of us in Old Town go out of our way to find special things that not everyone has,” said Saltzman.

Shopping local also keeps your money in your community.

“When your son needs somebody to do a fundraiser, or donate items, that’s not Amazon, that’s your local businesses, we’re the ones who help people in the local community,” Rakowski added.

During the governor’s press conference last week, a woman from Mason come to speak about keeping shopping local.

“You can help your community in the easiest of ways, by spending your hard-earned money at local stores, yes it’s tempting to go online but no one wants to see empty storefronts in our local shopping plazas and downtowns,” said Kendra Patterson, the co-owner of Michigan Barn Wood and Salvage.

If you’re shopping for yourself or for someone else, that perfect gift might be right down the street.

Many local shops have also created online stores, so if you’re concerned about shopping in person, you can still stay local online.

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