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Shopping Locally This Holiday Season

In recent years, as the convenience of online shopping and purchasing gifts through big box stores grows, there have been efforts to encourage people to support their local businesses and shop small.

With big online stores like Amazon or big box stores like Wal-Mart and even downstate malls, that level of convenience keeps people shopping online.

“You’re sitting there watching TV, you’re scrolling through things, and it’s really easy to shop online,” said Gwen Paradowski, owner of Traveling Ladders in Alpena. “So we want to encourage people to change their behavior in some degree.”

But, what local businesses in Alpena want to reiterate is that there is a personal connection with shopping locally in person.

“There are people who actually know you and care about you,” said Mary Rajasekhar, owner of Olivet Books and Gifts. “They want to serve you and they know just about how you shop, what you like, and every little desire, so when you shop local, you’re shopping with a friend, you’re shopping with a neighbor, and we care.”

Shopping locally in northeast Michigan is not just supporting a small business, but it is supporting a community as a whole. Building those relationships is sometimes what keeps people coming back to local shops for the holidays.

“When we know that this is somebody that we’ve seen for years and they live next door or down the road, we know that we are taking care of them, and that’s exactly why they come back, because they want to see us thrive and enjoy another year, two, or five,” said Rajasekhar.

If you’re doing your holiday shopping, consider shopping small and supporting your local businesses.