As the holidays once again approach Lincoln County, residents are pondering where to go to find that perfect gift for friends, family and significant others.

Instead of going to big box stores, or shopping online, the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce is urging county residents to do their holiday commerce closer to home, especially on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which is Nov. 28.

“’Small Business Saturday’ occurs annually, on the Saturday that follows ‘Black

Friday,’” said Rachel South, Chamber of Commerce executive director. “It is a day to focus on shopping local, and shopping small.  We love the focus and the organized effort it brings in regards to shopping local, but shopping local is important all year round.”

South also said that, unlike the larger stores, more money is put back into communities that patronize their local businesses, and it can assist those less fortunate in the process.

“Shopping local is supporting your community, supporting local families and putting money back into community development,” she said. “Shopping local helps to fund local initiatives and provide support services for community members in need.”

The novel coronavirus has been wreaking havoc across the St. Louis metropolitan area in 2020, and Lincoln County has been anything but immune to the effects of the pandemic, so shopping locally on “Small Business Saturday,” and the days afterward, are paramount to the lifeblood of the area’s businesses.

“This year, more then ever, we need to support local businesses, as businesses have been some that are hit the hardest by COVID-19,” South said.

South also said patronizing local business owners is helping comparable to helping a friend in need, while also helping the community at large.

“Local Business owners are your friends and neighbors, and they care more about you and the community they serve,” South said. “Supporting local (business) helps make your community unique and is truly putting your money into yourself, because for every dollar spent, those dollars don’t just evaporate to some corporate headquarters across the country or around the world, they stay in the community, where they’re reinvested between three and six more times.”