Ocean County Press Release
OCEAN COUNTY Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari wants shoppers to keep up the trend of patronizing local businesses during this holiday season.

"By shopping at small, local businesses you are making a difference in helping local workers and families during what has been a very difficult time for so many people," said Vicari, who serves as liaison to tourism and business development. "The coronavirus pandemic which has led to many restrictions in how we do things has hurt so many of our small businesses.

"This holiday season, one of the best gifts we can all be a part of is buying locally and at small, family owned businesses," he said.

While small businesses are highlighted on Small Business Saturday, Vicari urges everyone to keep on shopping at small locally owned shops throughout Ocean County.

"Check with local chambers of commerce and business associations to find out what might be offered by small businesses in your area," Vicari said.

The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders has assisted small businesses with its grant programs that have helped with rent and other operational expenses.

"Small businesses are truly the heart and soul of our communities," Vicari said. "The Ocean County business community has been uniquely impacted by the pandemic since tourism and hospitality represent such a high percentage of the economic activity here. It's vital to our small businesses that we do all we can to help 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, wine, toys, the list is endless. And remember to patronize 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," Vicari said. "Now, it's our turn to help them. We don't want to lose any more businesses in Ocean County because of this pandemic.

"Their economic health is the county's economic health," he said.

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