TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County Board of Commissioners is calling on all shoppers to patronize small local businesses during this holiday season.
“This time of year has some of the biggest economic impact on our local economy and especially our small businesses,” said Ocean County Commissioner Joseph H. Vicari, liaison to tourism and business development. “When we shop local we help the backbone of our local economy.”
The Ocean County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to pass a resolution at its Dec. 1 meeting urging residents to shop at small, local businesses this holiday season.
“We want our business owners to know that we support them,” said Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Gary Quinn. “We know times have been difficult as we all navigate the challenges left by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Shopping at small, local businesses is a great way to show business owners that we understand how valuable they are to our communities,” he said.
Vicari noted the Ocean County Division of Tourism and Business Development has been highlighting small businesses throughout Ocean County on its social media pages on Instagram and Facebook.
“Every day we are featuring a local, small business with photos and a brief description,” Vicari said. “We are building momentum for the season.”
Vicari suggested shoppers check with local chambers of commerce and business associations to find out what might be offered by small businesses in their area.
“Small businesses are truly the heart and soul of our communities,” Vicari said. “The Ocean County business community has been uniquely impacted by the pandemic since tourism and hospitality represent such a high percentage of the economic activity here. It’s vital to our small businesses that we do all we can to help them.”
The holiday shopping season is a good time for consumers to tap into all of the great stores throughout Ocean County.
“We have a host of great downtowns, and main streets that are filled with local, small businesses offering up gift ideas,” he said.
Vicari said people can also shop local businesses online.
“I cannot stress enough the importance this holiday season of buying from small, locally owned businesses,” Vicari said. “Gift cards for restaurants, electronics, clothing, toys, the list is endless. And remember to patronize other locally owned businesses like dry cleaners and hardware stores.
“These business owners are the ones we turn to when we need help, whether supporting our local charities, a community member in need or during difficult times,” Vicari said. “Now, it’s our turn to help them. “Their economic health is the county’s economic health.”