Nick McWilliams reporting – As Christmas inches closer, local leaders hope to see residents shopping local for holiday gifts, while keeping goodwill in their hearts.

With historic backups in delivery services due to a massive influx of online orders, finding a gift in time can be difficult with less than a week before the giving season.

Mayor Joel Day asked residents to consider visiting a local shop or inquiring about curbside pickup in New Philadelphia.

“They are following health department protocols to keep in-store shopping and dining safe.  Many of our businesses have found ways for you to make purchases online or over the telephone. Using social media is a convenient way to find and contact New Philadelphia businesses. I know that Amazon brings it to your door, but so can our local businesses. And they also have curbside pickup. The owners of these local businesses need us this holiday season, and so do their families.”

Small businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with some studies predicting some 35 percent will struggle to continue operations without some form of help in the next three months.

Day adds that given the circumstances surrounding the holiday season, now is the time to consider donating time or money to those in need.

“The challenges presented to us by the pandemic should not dampen our enthusiasm to celebrate Christmas as we have in the past. This year gifts can be given in different ways: providing a meal or running an errand for the families of health care workers and first responders’ who are on the front line of this fight, or to people under quarantine or individuals and families grieving from the loss of a loved one.”

The local Dover/New Philadelphia Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign is still underway, with donation locations around the area, or online on their Facebook page. 

Lawmakers continue talks of further stimulus support for small businesses, but Day adds that the best way to offer support is directly buying goods and resources from community partners.

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