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The Lamar County Chamber of Commerce was designated as a Shop Small partner for the upcoming holiday season. Chamber businesses were welcomed to display the information in their stores, and local shoppers are invited to pick up Shop Small shopping bags to show their support.

The Lamar County Chamber is a proud sponsor of the Shop Small Saturday on Nov. 28.

Everyone knows that this holiday shopping season is going to look a little different, but our local businesses will be up to the task to bring you whatever needs you have during this time.

This proud sponsorship has provided information for businesses to hang in their windows to remind people how important it is to shop local. The idea of shop small is great, but we also push the shop local.

We have great Chamber members that are unique in what they provide for our community. Not only are they providing you with what you have on your holiday shopping list, they provide you with customer service and a chance to build a relationship between customer and business owner. That’s what’s important in our community. Supporting each other.

When the Christmas in Paris event was canceled, it was absolutely devastating for many local vendors. This event had been planned for a very long time, and many had spent a lot of money in preparation for this. Even though saddened, in less than 24 hours, the retail community came together and supported each other in this difficult time. Invites to set up in outside locations to provide safety spread throughout the community, and no one was being charged to do this. Locations and parking lots owned by different people were offered at no charge. Retailers normally in competition were inviting each other and offering to help to each other. This is what local is about, and this is what we need to support. These people are our neighbors, friends and faces that we see every day.

The way shopping is done changed when Covid-19 hit. Those changes that our businesses community came up with still exist today. Even though we can freely go into locations at this time, everyone understands the idea of being safe and social distancing. That’s what our days are like now.

To provide the needs of all, the online presence for our businesses are available, curbside service is available, as well as calling ahead to find out information that you may need. Having all these options makes perfect sense, since all people are addressing the current issue a little differently depending on vulnerability.

We must respect businesses on what they are doing in these times. They are doing the very best they can to meet everyone’s needs. You can support our local business community and never leave your home. Please remember that when you log on to shop this holiday season.

We are blessed to have each and every one of our businesses in our community. Shop local and love local.

Paul Allen is the president of the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce.

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