Majalise Tolan and her son, Kol, are pictured shopping locally during the 2020 holiday season.

Shopping online has its place. It can be fast. It can be convenient. And, it can be dry.

But the owners of large online shopping websites don’t pay for T-shirts for Toledo youth basketball. They don’t coach Lincoln City youth soccer teams. They don’t sponsor scoreboards at Newport High School. They don’t volunteer at Waldport’s Beachcomber Days or sponsor the Yachats Mushroom Festival.

In short, there’s no substitute for healthy businesses in every corner of Lincoln County. Without them, and the workers they employ, local communities would fray at the edges, or fall apart entirely.

The many contributions of local small businesses are worth bearing in mind this holiday shopping season. And to kick the season off, Lincoln County is celebrating these businesses with an all-day social media blitz on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 27.

When you go shopping on Small Business Saturday, take your phone. Post photos and videos at local shops and share your activity. The first 50 to tag their posts with the hashtag #BuyLocalLincolnCounty will receive a free Buy Local travel coffee mug, which they can pick up at Oregon Coast Community College anytime in December.

Majalise Tolan, director of secondary education at the Lincoln County School District and a longtime local who regularly posts photos of herself and her family shopping local after Thanksgiving, has a been a longtime advocate of the program.

“Lincoln County’s small businesses continually support community nonprofits and are dedicated to seeing the county thrive,” she said. “Choosing to buy local first and showcase the amazing products in our own backward are small ways to give back to the business owners who support us day in and day out.”

More fun, more prizes

And, there’s more. Chambers of commerce from around the county are celebrating Small Business Saturday, too. Add hashtags for the chambers in the communities you’re shopping in to be entered to win gift baskets from those chambers. For example, The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce will select a winner from those who use the hashtag “#ShopLocalNewportOregon” while the Lincoln City and Depoe Bay chambers will be on the lookout for their own hashtags — find them on their respective social media channels.

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