WVU Extension experts encourage year-round support for local biz - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

WVU Extension experts encourage year-round support for local businesses

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The West Virginia University Extension Service is recommending shoppers look to small businesses for both holiday purchases and beyond.

"West Virginia small businesses are open for business throughout the year," said Kelly Nix, WVU Extension Service leadership specialist. "It's important that we support them through every season and not just during the holidays."

Nix said choosing to purchase from small businesses rather than national chains puts money directly into local economies.

"Buying local goods and services directly impacts the local community and allows for economic advancement of individual businesses and eventually, the entire town," she said.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving has been branded Small Business Saturday – a day to show support for local businesses. Nix said in addition to purchasing gifts, visiting a local restaurant or selecting ingredients for meals will help drive the entire economy forward.

And while the best place to find local shops are on the "Main Street" of the small towns, online purchases also help to create a strong local business economy.

"When visitors seek out local shops and spend money on their goods and services, resident businesses gain resources from other areas of the state — or neighboring states — that grow their business, leading to increased economic development from tourism in the region," said Doug Arbogast, WVU Extension specialist for community and rural tourism.