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When holiday shopping this year, remember the small businesses
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 Now that we’ve gotten through Halloween, Christmas time is quickly approaching. You can already see the holiday preparations taking place.
    It is also the time to start holiday shopping for everyone on your Christmas list and what better places are there to start than the small businesses in your area? See the holiday gift guide insert in this week’s paper for some ideas.
    Of course everyone loves to get out and go on a big Christmas shopping trip in the bigger cities every once in a while, but when you’re out getting your Christmas gifts for those people that are especially hard to shop for, don’t forget about what’s offered at home, by the people you personally know and who know you, in the small businesses. 
    Maybe this year, someone on your list would appreciate a gift certificate for an oil change or a car detailing at the locally owned body shop or garage. Or maybe you could spring for someone’s next haircut, massage or manicure at one of the many local salons.
    Maybe there’s a certain type of food or item that is locally produced that one of your friends or family members just can’t get enough of, but they don’t always buy for themselves?
    Gift certificates for services and products in the small businesses that the people on your Christmas list often frequent might be a nice change up in gifts this Christmas, instead of getting them something they may not use or will just collect dust on a shelf.
    Another advantage to getting some of your Christmas gifts from the small businesses in your area that you’re familiar with is that you’re supporting your own community and business owners, who are often people that you know and businesses that help support the schools your children attend and the community you live in.
    Now, no one is trying to suggest that everyone shop local all of the time, but maybe this year, when you have those last few hard to shop for people left on your Christmas list, you could look to your small businesses and the people who know you and will most often be willing to give you as much help and assistance as you need.