Ocean County Press Release
SHORT OF THE NORTH POLE, THE BEST PLACES TO SHOP
THIS HOLIDAY SEASON ARE RIGHT HERE IN OCEAN COUNTY
BY
FREEHOLDER JOSEPH H. VICARI


The holiday season is here again and shoppers are descending on local stores hoping to find the perfect present to leave under the tree.

No matter what is on Santa's list this year, the place to find that holiday treasure is right here in Ocean County.

From the latest electronics to that one-of-a-kind trinket, our local businesses offer everything a holiday shopper could ever want.

While the Ocean County Mall remains a premier destination for would-be elves, don't forget our many local downtowns with their unique shops and boutiques.

Toms River, Lakewood and Barnegat are among the towns that offer a diverse selection of downtown shops with nearby parking.

Many of our shore communities also offer perfect shopping opportunities.

Point Pleasant Beach boasts a large downtown with everything within easy walking distance. Or consider spending a day on Long Beach Island, free from the summer crowds.

Shopping local will also help businesses still feeling the economic impact of Super Storm Sandy. Keeping our dollars in the county also creates jobs and helps our local year round economy.

But there are other reasons to do your holiday gift shopping close to home.

Many times catalog and online offers may seem like a bargain, but don't forget to add in the shipping costs. If you have to return an item, it's much easier to drive down the street and visit the store rather than pack and ship a package across country.
Buying in Ocean County also offers additional protection for consumers.
As liaison to the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs, I see the same problems year after year: Presents not received in time for the holidays, problems with backorders and items that barely resemble their catalog photos and descriptions.
When you buy local, you are protected against fraud. Our county and state agencies have more authority when dealing with a local business complaint.
If you're having trouble finding the perfect gift, you might consider purchasing a gift card from a small business in Ocean County.
What better present to give than a gift certificate for a great meal at one of our many local restaurants. Or how about a gift certificate for a haircut or a home cleaning service?

Our Ocean County small businesses truly offer something for everyone.

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