Volume No. 16 Issue No. 11 November 2019  

Michelle Barrette
  By Michelle Barrette

     It’s that time of the year again —- shopping, cooking, eating, shopping. Before fighting large crowds and traffic jams, take a look at the shopping opportunities right out your back door.
   Small Business Saturday is nationally recognized and takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the day after Black Friday. Support local commerce and small businesses by thinking creatively.
   Of course, it’s easy to shop at Walmart if you are just thinking inside the box — the big box store. Why not think outside of the box (store) and visit the Peyton retail area, which offers a handful of small, unique shops. Or check out Black Forest, too.
   We all say we need more retail shops and small businesses in Falcon, but I think we first have to prove we will support them. Small businesses are a boon to towns like Falcon, Peyton and Black Forest.
   According to the Small Business Administration, 28 million small businesses are operating in the United States today; and, since 1995, those businesses generate 66 percent of new jobs in the U.S.
   Amazon and other online retailers present a huge challenge for small businesses. I love the convenience of shopping the web, but when it comes to special occasions or Christmas shopping, I like to support local business owners.
   So, a few ideas for thinking outside the box: besides visiting retail shops, gift cards are perfect for almost anyone. Most restaurants offer gift cards; why not support a mom and pop food place, rather than a chain restaurant. You can also keep commerce local by purchasing one of the many gift cards Safeway offers. But also check out local chiropractors, hair salons, nail salons, small fitness centers. Find out if your veterinarian has anything to offer in the way of gift cards. Maybe a gift card for dog grooming? Does the veterinary office offer small items to gift to your furry companions? Is there a massage therapist in your area? And those big box stores are often franchises, with local residents as owners, like Big O, so maybe a gift card for an oil change?
   Review all the advertisements in The New Falcon Herald, especially the business card section and find out how to be creative with your gift giving this season. Also, we will be glad to offer gift cards for a newspaper subscription to the NFH. After all, we just won an award from AARP Colorado.
   And that is my segue to the part where I brag a bit about our newspaper. In October, I attended an AARP Colorado dinner in Denver because AARP Chapter 1100 from Black Forest nominated us for a “business of the year” award from AARP Colorado. And we won the award. AARP Chapter 1100, grateful for the coverage the NFH provides them, felt our editor, Marylou Doehrman Bride, was worthy of the award because she is always willing to make space for the chapter’s news in our Black Forest section. Marylou and I both think AARP Chapter 1100 is newsworthy because of their tireless community service efforts. Plus, Stanley Beckner deserves an award for his dedication to submitting information each month on the chapter’s projects, events and programs. And at the dinner, AARP Chapter 1100 also received the AARP Colorado chapter of the year award — for the 11th straight year!
   Thank you AARP for this business award!
   We’ve started a series on charter schools (see D 49 news), and will continue Part 2 in our January issue. December is a lighter month for us and a busy month for you, and we want to make sure everyone reads this series.
   Also, I have been lax in welcoming our new writer, Pete Gawda. Pete will be covering the Falcon Fire Protection District and other news and events in the area. Pete is a seasoned newspaper reporter, so we are happy he is on board.
   That’s it for this month: Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! And thank you for supporting us for 16 years!
   See you in December.
   - Michelle
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