Manistee Area Chamber Helping to Support Small Businesses This Holiday Season

The Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce and local retailers are encouraging people to shop local for the holidays.

“Everyone is doing everything they can to make sure that your shopping experience is safe and you’re comfortable,” says Patricia O’Brien, owner of Northern Spirits Gift Shop in downtown Manistee.

O’Brien says this year has been difficult for many local businesses who have had to adapt to staffing shortages, PPE costs and changing regulations.

“It’s been a crazy year, day to day we don’t know, we don’t know what new guidelines, what new restrictions will be,” says O’Brien.

And with little to no federal or state help now, O’Brien says local businesses need your support more than ever:

“There’s nothing better than shopping local, shopping small. It helps everybody in the town, the service you get by shopping local; you’re going to get that one on one and if you’re not comfortable coming in, we have curbside, we’re going to do facetime videos, we’re going to walk you through it.”

To help, the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce created the Manistee County Community Christmas Parade of Lights.

Kristina Bajtka, marketing & membership coordinator for the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce, says, “At night you can drive around and hopefully you notice one of these small businesses and you stop in for dinner or an appetizer, when they’re available to be open and then you give back.”

Bajtka says shopping local this holiday season will keep your favorite small businesses going for years to come:

“It’s a season of shopping and we want everyone to participate in thinking and investing in the cool businesses that we have in our community.”

For more on how you can help support local businesses in Manistee County this holiday season, go to their Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce’s website.