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Shopping small this holiday season during the COVID-19 pandemic is a 'patriotic duty' says York's Mayor

The Mayor urged everyone to shop small this holiday season while following health and safety guidelines

York Mayor Michael Helfrich said it is everyone's 'patriotic' duty to shop small this holiday season in order to support local families and communities. The Mayor's message comes as he issued a proclamation in the city declaring November 28 'Small Business Saturday.'

Learn more about Small Business Saturday in Downtown York.

"It's our duty. It's our patriotic duty to shop local," he said. However, he also urged everyone to follow health and safety precautions like wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while shopping.

The Mayor was joined by representatives from Downtown Inc. as well as small business owners from Luxe and Mane Salon, Curious Little Playhouse, and Artemis Vintage to make the announcement at Penn Market on W. Market.

"You're talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. Hundreds of millions of dollars that are not coming into businesses," the Mayor said regarding the problems the pandemic has caused for the community.

The Mayor was joined by local business owners who made a plea to all holiday shoppers to seek out small businesses instead of the big box stores. 

"It's disheartening to see some of the lines in the big box stores," said Jen Swanner of the Curious Little Playhouse.

Swanner opened her business in 2019. 

"We've only been here for a year and a half and half of that time has been under a pandemic," she said, adding she did fear another shutdown could happen but that she would be understanding if it was necessary due to health and safety concerns. "We want to do whatever is going to get us to the other side of this pandemic," she said. 

"It's been crazy," said Michelle Wright, owner of Luxe and Mane Salon in York. Wright's business suffered a fire the same month as the shutdown began in March. She credits her family, friends, and clients who supported her for helping her business survive the challenges of the pandemic.

Listen to owner Michelle Wright explain how her business has responded to the challenges of a fire and a pandemic in 2020: