CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – Not sure what to buy as gifts this holiday? The Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau has ideas to help you – and the local economy.
Every day through Dec. 10, the bureau is posting a unique holiday gift. The catch: the gift has to be from one of the county’s small businesses.
TCO Fly Shop was the second to be featured on the list. Neil Sunday, a TCO employee, told us what makes their small shop unique.
“We’re always on the creek finding out what specifically the trout are eating,” he said.
Sunday says he and his co-workers are from the community, so they know what’s going on in the community.
“We pride ourselves in local knowledge,” he said.
But that doesn’t mean everyone in the community knows they’re there.
“We’re up against a variety of larger box stores as well as the online presence,” he said.
Until the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau put TCO on the map this holiday season.
“Every day, there’ll be a new item,” Kristen Rowe at the bureau said.
A different, local business is featured in the holiday gift guide each day, paired with a unique gift you can only buy at that small shop.
In Cumberland County, mom-and-pops make up about 90 percent of its businesses countywide.
“People tend to go to the big box stores and shop online during the holiday season, but you can find really unique items in your backyard,” Rowe said. “That money then stays in our economies and our downtowns. Those people live here, shop here, and spend their money here. Their kids go to these schools.”
The gift ideas range from a $160 bike to a few dollar dog treats, but the ripple effect on our local economy could be in the thousands, adding up to millions nationally.
Sunday gave an example.
“When you come to the fly shop, it’s almost like you do the Boiling Springs tour,” he said. “You can stop at the tavern, the coffee shop, then go to the lake.”
Especially before Small Business Saturday this weekend, it’s a reason to think “outside the big box” during the holidays.
Learn more about the featured mom-and-pop shops at www.cumberlandvalleypa.com.