Support your friends and neighbors
Christmas is nearly here, and for those of you who love to wait until the last minute to check off all the names on your shopping list, there are some great local options to help you find that perfect present.
The Finger Lakes region is packed full of shops, artisans, farms and boutiques with gifts for every stocking on the mantle. The area’s many wineries, breweries, and cideries are truly special and are an incredible anchor to the retail sector.
Also while shopping this year, consider giving gift cards to local restaurants and shops, or making a charitable donation to a local women’s shelter in support of domestic-violence victims, the homeless shelter, the humane society, or an addiction recovery center in someone’s name or memory. These are thoughtful presents that support our neighbors and can make a real impact in the community.
Small businesses continue to thrive due to quality goods
Many Finger Lakes region small businesses thrive simply due to the quality of their services and products. Across the U.S., retail sales during November and December are expected to jump as much as 4.2 percent, to a whopping $730 billion in sales, compared to last season. The more shoppers spend in their communities, the stronger the economic impact will be to the local and state economies.
One great way to support the region is to participate in the “24 Days of Shopping Small” challenge, which is already in progress. Leading up to Christmas Eve, shoppers are encouraged to use a Shop Small Passport to keep track of how many small businesses they visit during the busy holiday shopping season. For those participating in the event, rewards include great discounts and products.
I have personally had the great pleasure of watching the Finger Lakes region grow into a world-class destination. What was once a quaint corner of New York has turned into a booming tourist attraction with unparalleled goods and services. None of this would be possible without the support of area residents who continue to invest in their neighbors.
Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C–Canandaigua), a former small-business owner, is the New York Assembly Minority Leader and represents the 131st Assembly District, which encompasses all of Ontario County and parts of Seneca County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org