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Planning to spread some cheer this holiday season? Go home for the holidays and pick up a one-of-a-kind creation from your local small businesses in the Greater New Orleans Area. Shopping locally is the gift that keeps on giving.

Did you know that for every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 stays in the community, compared to just $43 when you shop at a national chain? Or that small businesses create two out of three new U.S. jobs annually? So, when you shop locally, you’re not only putting your hard-earned dollars to work in your community; you’re supporting the engines that fuel our national economy.

Independent, community-serving businesses typically consume less land, carry more locally made products, and create less traffic and air pollution, so it’s good for the environment too.

And locally sourced goods and services like those found in Metairie and the Northshore are often crafted by local artisans and are exclusive to our region, making for memorable gift-giving during the holidays and beyond.

If you prefer your gifts without a shiny bow, gift an “experience” to watch a local band, dine at a family-run restaurant, or attend a holiday event with friends and family. Celebrations outside the home, including holiday entertaining and socializing, represent roughly 40 percent of total holiday spending and are a great way to support small businesses and boost the local economy.

Post a picture of your favorite locally sourced product or make a short video to showcase a local event and share it on social media as inspiration for others. Better yet, continue the movement beyond the holidays. Show support for entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the year by shopping locally and encouraging your friends and neighbors to do the same.