Noting that this time of year has some of the biggest economic impact on the local economy and especially small businesses, Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Joseph H. Vicari is encouraging residents to shop local during the holiday season.
“When we shop local we help the backbone of our local economy,” said Vicari, who is liaison to tourism and business development. “We want our business owners to know that we support them.
“Shopping at small, local businesses is a great way to show business owners that we understand how valuable they are to our communities,” he said.
Vicari noted the Ocean County Division of Tourism and Business Development highlights small businesses throughout Ocean County on its social media pages on Instagram and Facebook.
“It’s important that we feature local, small businesses,” Vicari said. “We are building momentum for the season.”
Vicari suggested shoppers check with local chambers of commerce and business associations to find out what might be offered by small businesses in their area.
“Small businesses are truly the heart and soul of our communities,” Vicari said. “The Ocean County business community was uniquely impacted by the pandemic since tourism and hospitality represent such a high percentage of the economic activity here. Even with the pandemic behind us, it’s vital to our small businesses that we do all we can to patronize them.”
The holiday shopping season is a good time for consumers to tap into all of the great stores throughout Ocean County.
“We have a host of great downtowns, and main streets that are filled with local, small businesses offering up gift ideas,” he said.
Vicari said people can also shop local businesses online.
“I cannot stress enough the importance this holiday season of buying from small, locally owned businesses,” Vicari said. “Gift cards for restaurants, electronics, clothing, toys, the list is endless. And remember to support other locally owned businesses like dry cleaners and hardware stores.
“These business owners are the ones we turn to when we need help, whether supporting our local charities, a community member in need or during difficult times and our school teams,” Vicari said. “Their economic health is the county’s economic health.”
In addition, shopping local also ensures that if you have a problem, the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs can help.
Anyone with questions is encouraged to call the Department of Consumer Affairs at 732-929-2105 or visit the Ocean County Website at http://www.co.ocean.nj.us.