DISCOVER BIG JOY IN SMALL SHOPS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
The Holiday season is just around the corner which means your neighbor’s blowup Santa has already returned and so too will the annual struggle of trying to figure out what to get for everyone, from friends to colleagues to that one distant relative you only see once a year. Thankfully, Visit Lebanon Valley has created a holiday gift guide that has ideas for everyone on your list.
From memorable experiences for the whole family to delicious Lebanon Valley specialty foods for your sister’s new foodie boyfriend, the gift guide is a great resource for finding meaningful gifts all while supporting your favorite local businesses. With local legends like the Tweed Weasel Folk Art & Primitives in Schaefferstown, Wertz Candies in downtown Lebanon, and Seltzer’s Smokehouse Meats in Palmyra, many of the gifts on this guide truly can’t be found anywhere else.
Why Shop in the Valley?
There’s a time and place for online shopping and the ease of a one-click purchase, but take the aisle less traveled this year and shop local in the Lebanon Valley. Not only are there great gifts to be found here, but shopping locally and supporting small businesses also leaves a ripple effect of benefits for both shoppers and shop owners.
For every dollar you spend at a small business, 67 cents stays in the local community, according to a study by American Express. “By shopping local you create jobs, keep money in the local economy and nurture a sense of community” says Visit Lebanon Valley President Jennifer Kuzo. Additionally, local businesses are more likely than big box stores to give back to local charities and causes. And while these benefits are great for businesses themselves, there are many benefits for shoppers too.
Whether you’re shopping for a food lover, thrill seeker, or you just need that last gift for their stocking, the gift guide has ideas for everyone on your list. The guide’s curated collection is separated into four categories for easy navigation: gifts for the homebody, gifts for foodies, gifts for their stocking, and experiences to enjoy. Each of these categories lists different gift ideas with a description and a picture that links you directly to the gift’s website, making it a one stop shop for your holiday shopping.
One business featured in the guide is MG Mercantile, known as a “shop-able cottage where you can find specialty groceries, stock-the-bar goodies, and curated gifts to treat your loved ones…or yourself!” according to owner Tanya Mann. “The holiday season is about gratitude, and the MG Mercantile team is so grateful to our community for the encouragement and joy they bring to us.”
One of the biggest benefits to consumers when it comes to shopping local centers around customer service. For small businesses, positive reviews and experiences are no small matter, so striving to please customers is a high priority. This means a better experience for customers and, even better, no robots answering your customer service calls.
“We truly delight in welcoming our shoppers and hope they feel like guests when they visit,” says Mann, whose business opened in July of 2023, “We’re excited about the items we carry, and we enjoy sharing that feeling. In return, we get to hear stories, make memories, and act on suggestions, and that has made the last few months so rewarding.”
And if not talking to a machine isn’t good enough, know that shopping locally also reduces your carbon footprint. Helping the planet while checking off your holiday shopping list? That’ll definitely get you on the nice list!
This holiday season, turn to Visit Lebanon Valley’s holiday gift guide for unique finds from locally owned businesses across the county. Even if they don’t like Lebanon Bologna (*gasp*), there’s a gift for everyone here in the Lebanon Valley.