Whew, what a year it's been. Almost twelve months of a pandemic and counting. Plus, last week's winter storm. It's taken a toll on our East Texas businesses.

While we're thankful for the convenience of home delivery services, it's crucial that we support our small, local businesses as much as we can. Unlike some of the global brands, our East Texas business owners don't have the same safety net. These are our neighbors and friends. And they need our help.

Though things are improving, we are still concerned with keeping those in our families and communities healthy.

Thankfully, there are ways we can give the crucial support our small businesses need to keep things in the black. Keeping our local economies going is one of the most important things we can do to help keep everyone safe. Financial health, especially in our country, helps with providing and receiving the healthcare we need.

A few ways to support our East Texas businesses during this time include:

Buying gift cards. Go ahead and get early birthday or holiday gifts. You don't have to use them now. Hopefully you will, sooner rather than later, of course.

There's always take out! Many East Texas restaurants offer take-out and drive-through. Whether you call Door Dash or Uber Eats or head to the drive-thru, your support is most wanted. (But still. Be sure and wash your hands when you get home, though.)

Online shopping. No, that doesn't have to mean thru that one giant entity so many have come to rely on. Many of our local business owners have an excellent online presence and are happy to sell us their wonderful wares via the internet.

Buy produce and handmade crafts from local artisans and farmers. We have some incredibly talented people in East Texas who make and sell all kinds of delicious or delightful things. Make it a point to connect with some of these people and give them your support. It'll mean the world to them.

What other ways would you suggest we contribute to our local businesses here in East Texas? Please share in the comments below!

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