It might not be Santa’s workshop, but it’s close.

If you are looking for the perfect holiday gift this season, you don’t have to look far – everything you need is in Culpeper.

We always stress the importance of shopping local and supporting small businesses, but this year it’s even more important to keep our dollars local.

Each year, the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce and Culpeper Renaissance Inc. partner together to help support small businesses’ marketing efforts by helping offset costs in the Culpeper Times annual Shop Small, Shop Local advertising section. We can help multiple businesses encourage community members to stay in town and find that perfect gift, while also supporting one of our local newspapers. Of course, this year is going to look different. Instead of hosting a Shop Small Saturday, businesses are being encouraged to host a Shop Small for the Season from Nov. 28 to Dec. 4. This year’s celebration is the 11th Annual Small Busines event since it started in 2010 and according to American Express – the sponsor of the program – consumers have spent an estimated $120 billion nationwide.

In order to drive shoppers to Shop Small® this season, the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce is participating in the American Express® Neighborhood Champion Program to spotlight small businesses and the impact they have on communities. According to the 2019 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, 97% of consumers who shopped on Small Business Saturday agree that small businesses are essential to their community and 95% reported the day makes them want to shop or eat at small, independently-owned businesses all year long, not just during the holiday season.

In Culpeper, local business owners are the lifeblood of the community. They are our neighbors, our family, our friends. We’ve watched them innovate over the past nine months as their livelihood has been threatened by a pandemic. They’ve opened websites, shifted to curbside pickup, implemented social distancing – all while still trying to make a profit. Our businesses are community minded, helping support a myriad of nonprofits throughout the year.

This year, when we’re being encouraged to not congregate or venture far from home, let’s take advantage of the situation and help support our community by spending our money locally. Culpeper is blessed to have such diverse businesses – ranging from gifts, to chocolates, to wood carvings, to furniture, to picture frames, to oil and vinegar, to pet supplies and so much more. Just a quick drive through our quaint little town and you’ll be able to find a gift for anyone in your family. Spending locally also helps our tax base, as the money then matriculates back into our school system. Culpeper County Administrator John Egertson shared at one of our recent Business Development Advocacy Council meetings that the county made $230,000 in sales tax during March, April and May. During the height of the state mandated stay at home order, Culpeper made the best of a unique situation and supported its local businesses.

Our hope is that during this holiday season, we again rally around our neighbors and support our small and local businesses. Let’s prove once again, why we are CulpeperStrong.