According to Maria Heller, a former president of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, the best way to make your holiday shopping a more pleasant experience is to keep it close to home. “With all the traffic out there, and the congestion in the malls, it’s less of a hassle to shop local.”
“The small stores will wrap your holiday presents,” she said, “and they accommodate you better than the big conglomerates. You get better service.”
Shopping local, Heller said, is also a way to help keep the community going. “Business owners support the town with their taxes. If people don’t shop locally, we could lose the mom-and-pop shops that give Oceanside its character.”
Heller said that another way to avoid the stress of holiday shopping is to know what you want before you go into a store, and to get to know the store before you show up to make your final purchases. That way, she said, you save time, and avoid indecision anxiety.
This holiday season, Mike Scully, President of the Island Park Chamber of Commerce, wants to shatter some assumptions about the village. “People don’t think we have a big retail district, but between Long Beach Road and Austin Boulevard, we actually have a lot of businesses other than restaurants.”
“Aside from gift certificates to some of our many eateries, you can shop for friends and loved ones in a variety of Island Park businesses,” Scully said. “Spread some holiday cheer with a stop at Pop’s Wines and Spirits. Pick up your stocking-stuffers from Hope’s Land of Candy, and Island Collectables toy and comic shop. For your outdoorsy loved ones, try Empire Kayaks and Ralph’s Tackle, and for the gardeners, visit Doris the Florist and A&T Nursery. Everyone knows shopping can be exhausting, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, drop by Tazzetto Coffee for a breather, and a pick-me-up.”
“Small business is the foundation of any community,” Scully said. “Research shows that for every $100 spent, $68 stays in the community. That’s why you shop local.”