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Andalusia businesses prepare for holiday shopping season

As the busiest shopping weekend of the year approaches, local businesses are working to lure in shoppers with some deals of their own for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday was established in 2010 as a way to encourage shoppers to support local stores during the holiday season. It falls the day after Black Friday. After 10 years, Small Business Saturday is observed in all 50 states and in 2011 the U.S. Senate passes a resolution recognizing the event.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Americans spent nearly $20 billion on Small Business Saturday as shoppers have become more aware of the importance of investing in their own communities. It is reported that for every dollar at small businesses, an average of 67 cents stays within the community.

“Our local businesses are our friends and neighbors and when you shop at their businesses you are supporting your own community,” said Chrissie Duffy, executive director of the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce. “Our local stores offer wonderful and unique items and when you shop locally the benefit is ten-fold because these business owners are pouring money right back into our community. When you send your dollars elsewhere you get what you paid for, but when you purchase the same item locally, you get that plus the benefit of having that money stay local to support things like our schools and infrastructure.”

Local stores have also proven they are willing to help customers with safety concerns during the pandemic.

“Most of our businesses are willing to Facetime call you if you have concerns about going into the store and most are set up with an online presence where you can shop through the items they have. Since they are our friends and neighbors, they will go that extra mile for you, even bringing your merchandise out to your car if needed,” Duffy said.

A visit to a local shop could also be the cure for those who need of a dose of Christmas spirit.

“Shopping at our local stores is a beautiful and unique experience. Darby’s, Walker’s, Ward and Company, just to name a few, offer unique items with a wonderful atmosphere. Terry Proctor has done a great job at Town and Country and if you haven’t visited that store in a while, you really haven’t been there at all. There are so many wonderful places to shop right here at home that there’s really no reason to go anywhere else,” Duffy said.

For those who prefer to make shopping quick and simple, Duffy said local businesses have a solution for that, too.

“If you’re at a loss on what to get someone or don’t have the time for shopping, gift certificates are available for services like a car wash, salons, restaurants. They make great gifts and there are many options for that right here in our community,” she said.