In Howard County, we are shaped by a spirit of unity, heritage, and a shared community vision. As we begin November, and the holiday season commences, this essence is vividly captured in by our small, local businesses who are the backbone of our economy, each echoing a facet of what we stand for.

Small Business Saturday, taking place on Saturday, Nov. 27, is a day dedicated to supporting our local businesses and celebrating the vital role they play in our communities. Each year, millions of consumers come out to shop at small, independent businesses, spotlighting their importance to local economies and the fabric of our neighborhoods. Participating in this day not only helps support the livelihoods of local entrepreneurs but also strengthens the bond within the community.

As we approach the holiday season, the importance of Shop Local becomes even more pronounced. By choosing to spend our money at local stores and services, we invest directly into our own community, contributing to its growth and prosperity. For every dollar we spend at a small, local business, 80 cents go right back into our economy. Beyond the economic benefits, shopping local often means receiving personalized service, discovering unique products, and ensuring that our towns and small businesses maintain their distinctive character.

I also want to thank the more than 150 businesses and 70 ambassadors that participated in our Annual Business Appreciation Week in October. We collected impactful data during the visits will help us shape strategies to serve our businesses more efficiently and effectively. We will continue to collaborate with Howard County Economic Development Authority to address issues and foster an environment where businesses thrive. I remain thankful for the visionary leadership of HCEDA CEO Jennifer Jones who helps ensure that all our local businesses not only survive, but thrive.

In essence, November is a true reflection of Howard County’s spirit. It’s a montage of our values, dreams, and shared goals. I invite each one of you to partake in these events, to experience the warmth, the unity, and the commitment that defines us. During this holiday season, there is no better way to celebrate than by support our local businesses and our local economy. Let’s come together to celebrate our journey, honor our past, and forge a path for a brighter, more inclusive future for all.