As we all start to comb through Black Friday shopping ads trying to figure out what gaming system or TV we’ll pick up for a steal or how many sets of 8 million thread count sheets we’ll fight complete strangers for, let’s not forget the stores on our main streets.

This can be a very tough time of the year for hometown businesses. Our neighbors could use the business, as much of our retail purchases going to Amazon and other big-box online stores these days.

This week we include our Hometown Holidays section, which includes some gift ideas from local merchants throughout Okanogan and Ferry counties.

Going through it, one can quickly see that local merchants have some unique items that you can easily place in holiday stockings or fill out the Christmas tree’s skirt.

Our local economy could use the extra funds and it could mean even more than you think to people who may even live next door.

Next week we’ll be honoring your picks for the Best of Okanogan and Ferry counties. Most of the categories focus on local businesses in our area. While it may not have specific gift ideas, it may alert you to a business that you may not have heard of before.

A strong community needs a strong economy.

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