Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Editorial: It's Small Business Season

The countdown to Christmas is on. As I write this, December 25 is exactly 34 days away.

That means it's time for our annual Winterfest edition of the Transcript, full of all things local for the holidays.

I came across a meme posted on the New Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page a few days ago that really hit me.

It read, "Big companies won't notice your purchase over the next couple months. But small businesses will, and it might even change their life."

It's true. Small, independent local businesses are the heartbeat of our economy. And their survival is integral to our community's future.

Let's play a game. When you unwrap your Christmas gifts this year, guess how many will have been purchased from a small, independent business. The larger the number, the bigger the win.

I joined a women's business support group online a few months ago. Every day I read stories from women who are in various stages of business ownership. Some have just opened their Etsy shop and put a few items online for sale. Others are established designers selling their logo, branding and social media marketing packages to business owners who don't have time to do their own.

Many times someone will ask how to get the word out about the products they sell, and often social media marketing rises to the top of the recommendation list.

"Start a Tik Tok shop," someone will say.

"Have you tried posting videos showing the process of making those crochet animals?" another person will ask.

This newspaper you're holding in your hand or reading online is MY way of promoting local businesses. As the owner/publisher and a 19-year resident of Eddy County, I know just how important local support is to a small business. So I ask you to consider the following as the holiday approaches.

Give local

I challenge you to purchase as many gifts as possible from local businesses this year. Whether it be the latest gadget, a gift card for a car wash, a custom apparel item from Positive Vibes Apparel or a handmade gift from the Open Season Lodge vendor show, your purchase will make an impact.

Central Pharmacy is giving back with its "Cans for Community" Sale this week. Take one non-perishable food item and get 5% off a gift. Donate a maximum of five items and get 25% off a gift item on your list. You can do this once a day, and check five items off your list by week's end. Bonus: they will wrap your gift purchase for FREE!

Do it Best Hardware made some changes in store, and now it's easier to find and choose affordable toys, Christmas decor and other holiday items on their shelves. This is a great way to both deck the halls and fill all the stockings in one shopping trip.

Order fresh-baked pies, cookies, buns and other delicious goodies from Bakers Dozen. You'll be mom's favorite when you bring their made-from-scratch goodness to the family table.

For more local gifting ideas, see our local gift guide on page A6.

Encourage local

Do you have friends and family members that always ask, "What do you want for Christmas?" You can encourage others to shop locally by putting things on your Christmas list that are available at local businesses, and tell the giver where they can be purchased.

Last Christmas my daughters went shopping for me at Flair Boutique. They picked out items that I would not have chosen for myself, and I love them!

I also received a gift certificate for a family photo session with KayElla Photography in New Rockford. Now that's what I'm talking about! They did it without any prompting or suggestions from me. It doesn't get any better than that.

Celebrate local

At Transcript Publishing, we're bringing back the post-holiday party this year. Usually it's difficult to schedule our company Christmas party in December, given our press schedules and the variety of community events to cover.

For a few years we waited until January to get together as a team, and that seems to work a little better. Besides, local businesses need support even more in January, during the dreaded "holiday hangover" period.

However and whenever you do it, keep your celebrations local. We have great facilities and unique offerings right here at home.

Experience local

DPRCA's Elliott Schwab has written an original screenplay in the holiday spirit, "The Christmas Show." This is a play you can only see right here in New Rockford. Gather up the family and experience a night of live theater. Sing Christmas carols as you drive home looking at all the homes lit up in holiday lights.

Book an ice fishing experience with K & M Bison Lodge and Outfitters in New Rockford. Their brand-new SnoBears are fully equipped for winter fun on the lake. All you need are warm clothes, a valid N.D. fishing license and a few buddies.

Donate to the Shop with the Sheriff program. Youth ages 6-13 are given Chamber bucks to shop for gifts at local businesses. Right at their side are the fine officers that keep our community safe. Now that's an experience worth supporting.

Take in the Mini Taste of the Season at Miller's Fresh Foods on Friday, Dec. 8. Recipes for two of the items you'll be snacking on are featured in our Winterfest spread on page A7.

I've also shared one of my favorite holiday candy recipes on page A7, for homemade peanut butter cups. My mom taught me how to make them when I was in elementary school. Since then it's been a tradition to make them every year, as they are my dad's favorite! When we all gather on Christmas Eve day, it's the first thing he'll grab off the tray of treats.

Make this Christmas one to remember for everyone on your list, and for your favorite local merchants.

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