The last few months have been rather difficult on our local businesses. The businesses that aren't as prominent as big stores such as Walmart, Target, etc. have been suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They've had to face total shutdowns. They've had to change the way that they operate in order to stay within state and federal guidelines. They've had to face falling numbers of customers and sales, due to people staying in quarantine.

This pandemic has shaken those business owners, and rightfully so.

Yes, many of them have been allowed to make the transition to curbside-delivery, or pick-up options, but that's not the same. This has allowed many businesses to stay afloat, but they still aren't seeing the same numbers and success that they would normally see. And, that's not their fault. They're having to do these things to follow guidelines, or face dire consequences.

I say all of that, to say this:

Support our local businesses.

It doesn't matter if it's the local brewery, coffee shop, boutique, antique shop, *insert small business here*. The small businesses were, and - in many places - still are the backbone of the local economy. They're vital to our lives, whether you see it or not.

So, next time you get the chance, shop local...or, even better, next time MAKE the effort to shop local. Support those local businesses. They're just as much in the dark about the pandemic as the rest of us.

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