Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 11-19-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Page 108 of 109

THE VALLEY BREEZE | HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2020 71 A CRAFTSMAN IN HIS WORKSHOP examines an armchair frame he is working on. Here in northern Rhode Island, shoppers can find many local artisans selling their works in time for holiday giving. Local business shopping? Remember artisans and eateries, too Small businesses across America have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As shopping restrictions have been put in place across the country, local businesses have found themselves getting creative in selling their goods. One of the best ways you can support your local business community is by purchasing items from local artisans and restaurants. Support Local Artisans Some of the most talented people in your community are artisans creating handmade — or even customized — gifts for people on your shopping list. You may find artisans partnering with local businesses to sell their products at a storefront versus opening up their own display space. When you shop locally, you give these artisans the exposure and finan- cial support they need to grow their business. Support Local Restaurants and Food Trucks Can't decide what to eat this week- end? Search your local newspaper or Facebook restaurant groups to find great local options versus settling for chain establishments. Local food trucks are also an option for enjoying unique cuisine while also supporting small business owners in your community. These businesses have seen an uptick in business due to their flexibility in being able to set up at various sites. Keep your eye out on social media for where food trucks are setting up during the holiday shopping season, and show your support by buying your meals locally. Customer Service What can you expect when you shop with local artisans and restaurants? Great customer service, for one. Many shoppers complain about cus- tomer service at the big chain stores during the holidays due to retail employees often being stretched too thin in their work schedules. With local businesses, you can expect personalized customer service along with the unique food or items you'll find. That's because great customer ser- vice is the lifeblood of a small business owner. They are depending on referral busi- ness from you and your community members. Many times, small business owners are able to craft and personalize prod- ucts for their customers. This level of customization is another aspect of great customer service that is so critical for small businesses to deliver. age Green Shoot Media. © 2020

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