Thanksgiving this year is going to look different for so many of us. In pre-pandemic times, we might be running to the grocery store one last time to get that missing ingredient or getting the family ready to travel to a relative’s house. Because of the pandemic, many of us are staying home this year and not hosting a big Thanksgiving. But staying home isn’t all bad. In fact, it gives us an opportunity to support our local businesses like never before. While many of the traditions surrounding Thanksgiving have been disrupted this year, not all have, including Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when communities encourage residents to shop local. Many people may be ready to spend some money on Black Friday with big box store savings, but this year, supporting our town or city’s small businesses is more important than ever.

If you are planning on starting your holiday shopping early this year, consider buying local before going online or to a mass retailer. Small businesses need our help. Some mom and pop shops have been able to get take advantage of Economic Recovery grants to stabilize their businesses, but I know many small businesses that have been hurting since the start of the pandemic. Thankfully, there are many easy ways to find stores near you without even leaving your house.

The Heart of Biddeford is a great resource to look up restaurants, gift shops and places to buy gift cards around town for loved ones. You can access their guide to all Biddeford has to offer here: www.heartofbiddeford.org/explore-biddeford/. I know I’m excited to check out my neighbor, Erin Sheehan’s, wine store called Lorne Wine at 61 Main Street in downtown Biddeford. She offers pick up and local delivery options as well. For local family or friends, a gift card is always a great option too. I know there are several new businesses that have opened during the pandemic, including hair salon Gloss and clothing boutique Eastcraeft, which are both at 148 Main Street, where a gift card might be the perfect present. If you are shopping in-person, make sure you remember to bring a face mask and follow the store’s safety protocols.

The Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel Chamber of Commerce also have a holiday gift guide site that even shares some special deals from local businesses. Check them out here: gokennebunks.com/holidaygiftguide/.

What are some of your favorite places to shop local? Let’s make the most of this unique Thanksgiving and holiday season and show up for our community this Small Business Saturday. Take it from me, it is such a good feeling to finish your holiday shopping list before December even begins.

Despite all this talk about gift-giving, I know some families will not have extra spending money this year. For those who are in need of food this Thanksgiving, clothing or other resources, I’d recommend you read my column from last month, or you can go to this site here: www.biddefordmaine.org/DocumentCenter/View/3447/Area-Resources to find ways to get help.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at (207) 287-1515 or email me at Susan.De[email protected] if there’s any way I can be of assistance to you and your family this holiday season.

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