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If it’s the holiday season, that means it’s the perfect time to make regular stops in the Purple Cow in Wakefield. The eclectic shop offers a variety of unique gifts that regularly change, ensuring you’ll never know what treasure awaits for that hard-to-please person on your list.

This season, the need to support local businesses is being more keenly felt than in years past. When you shop local you are encouraging your neighbor’s creative outlet, you are helping to send a local child to camp and you are helping to put food on the table of the person whose passion is the business you visited. This contributes to the overall vitality of your town and makes it the uniquely wonderful place it is. Shopping local has an immediate, tangible effect.

Kristin Urbach has been the executive director of the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce for over five years. She spoke to the multifaceted effect of shopping local, saying, “when you make a purchase at a locally owned business, more money is kept in the community, providing a localized economic stimulus. This support helps grow other nearby businesses, as well as infuse the local tax base, which ultimately enriches the community.” She continued, noting that “local businesses create character and prosperity, making towns unique while adding to the value of your home and property.  Local businesses hire residents throughout the state and are the largest employer group in Rhode Island.”

Local businesses create the unique character of the town in which they reside. “By supporting local businesses, you are ensuring that your community thrives and survives while retaining its character and local economy,” said Urbach.

Joe Viele, executive director of the Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, said, “[At the Chamber] we have always promoted shopping local to support the local business community as a whole but this year especially a lot of these businesses have faced many challenges. They are typically very generous to the community, supporting non-profits, youth sports teams, etc…. So, this year it’s especially important.”

As you venture out to complete your holiday shopping, remember the strength that is found in a community that works to support one another during challenging times. This season of peace and togetherness possesses great healing potential. “I have always felt that this is a very close business community… if any business community can weather this storm, [we] can,” Viele said.

On a less sentimental note, one final thing to consider as you prepare to tackle your holiday shopping list this year is the potential for shipping delays. Urbach recommends shopping earlier, especially since mailing gifts will be more popular this year as many people are unable to visit friends and family who are out of town.

The North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit 400-plus membership organization representing dozens of industries, is one of Rhode Island’s leading business membership and trade organizations, located in North Kingstown, that includes the Quonset Business Park employing more than 11,000 people within over 200 businesses. Their mission is to enhance the North Kingstown and surrounding area by supporting economic vitality, advocating for businesses and providing collaborative growth opportunities in order to be a premier resource for the success of the Rhode Island business community.

The Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization — financed on a voluntary basis, established to advance the commercial, financial, industrial and civic interests of the community — that supports and enhances the business community of Southern Rhode Island and creates opportunities for the growth and development of its member businesses. It is the one device that brings together the business and professional interests of the community, permitting them to accomplish collectively what none of them could do individually.

The Impressed Olive 1

The Impressed Olive 1, located in historic Wickford Village at 4 Brown St., is owned and operated by Bill Ronci and his wife Jean. They specialize in organic extra virgin olive oils, all-natural balsamic vinegars, pestos, tapenades, pastas, stuffed and whole olives, hot sauces and other edible specialties. On Nov. 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. they are having a special 20 percent off sale, so make sure to visit them to purchase a tasty gift for the chef or foodie on your Christmas list. For more information about The Impressed Olive 1, visit impressedolive1.com or call them at 401-603-9269.

Ocean Essence Massage - Therapy, Skincare, and Wellness

Ocean Essence Massage - Therapy, Skincare, and Wellness, located in historic Wickford Village at 14 Main St., offers an array of wellness options including therapeutic massages, facials, waxing and various other esthetic services. They strive to be a place for all to come and prioritize self-care as more than just a seldom indulgence. They are offering special seasonal enzyme facials for $110 — pumpkin for November and cranberry for December. Their services are available by appointment Monday through Saturday and gift certificates are available for purchase. For more information about Ocean Essence Massage, visit oceanessencemassage.com or call them at 401-423-9830.

The Gold Lady

The Gold Lady, located in historic Wickford Village at 30 Phillips St., is your one-stop-shop for all things jewelry this holiday season. Not only can you purchase from their impressive inventory, but they also offer custom designs, estate and antique jewelry, repairs and appraisals, as well as fine keepsake gifts for anyone on your Christmas list. From now until Christmas they are having their annual holiday sale of 20-50 percent off select items. For more information about The Gold Lady, visit goldladyjewelers.com or call them at 401-294-4695.

Hammer & Stain Wickford

Hammer & Stain Wickford, located at 7671 Post Rd., North Kingston, is the perfect place not only to create festive holiday décor but also is the ideal experiential gift option for the crafty person on your gift list. They offer a range of DIY options including workshops, group events and DIY at-home kits. You can either purchase a gift card for the recipient to use how they choose or schedule a private lesson to do together — bring your own beverage is encouraged for the over 21 crowd. They are offering two special holiday events this season, the first on Nov. 14 from 6 - 8 p.m. is a vintage ceramic tree and truck virtual DIY, and the other on Nov. 13 is a pick your own holiday workshop from 6 - 9 p.m. For more information about Hammer & Stain Wickford, visit hammerandstainwickford.com or call them at 401-490-1080.

McKay’s Furniture

McKay’s Furniture, located 182 Lafayette Rd., North Kingston, is the perfect place to visit if your entertaining space or guest accommodations need an upgrade this holiday season. Since this year has left many in a tight place, they are offering customers 30 percent off of everything in their store plus an extra 10 percent off and free delivery. For more information about McKay’s Furniture, visit mckaysfurniture.com or call them at 401-295-1915.

NK Chamber Holiday Outdoor Market

Coming this December, the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a holiday outdoor market event in historic Wickford Village. The specifics of this special event were not yet finalized at publication time but keep an eye on northkingstown.com for the latest updates and information.

Rebekah Cook Art and Paint Your Own Pottery Studio

Rebekah Cook Art and Paint Your Own Pottery Studio, located in downtown Wakefield at 344 Main St. Unit 103, is owned and operated by lifetime artist, Rebekah Cook. At her studio she offers art classes for people of all ages and hosts parties and events. This holiday season she is offering Christmas themed take home art kits, which are ideal for the artsy person is your life or to do as a socially distanced holiday activity with family or friends. For more information about Rebekah Cook Art, visit rebekahcookart.com or call her at 401-829-2064.

Sweenor’s Chocolates

Sweenor’s Chocolates, located at 21 Charles St., Wakefield, is a Rhode Island staple that will bring a sweet smile to the face of anyone receiving their treats this Christmas. These third and fourth generation chocolatiers make a variety of treats to satisfy any sort of sweet tooth you are buying for, including Christmas themed novelties, sugar-free chocolates, gift baskets and various non-chocolate sweets. Sweenor’s typically does an open house with a candy cane demonstration every year but due to COVID precautions they will be hosting this event virtually this year. You can place your order at sweenorschocolates.com and call them with any questions at 401-783-4433.

Wakefield Books

Wakefield Books, located at 160 Old Tower Hill Rd., Wakefield, is an independently owned bookstore where you can not only satisfy the bookworm in your life but also the board game buff, the funny sock fanatic and the stationary savant. Feel free to shop in-store but they also offer online ordering and curbside pickup if you prefer. For more information on Wakefield Books, visit wakefieldbooks.com or call 401-792-0000.

The Purple Cow

The Purple Cow, located in downtown Wakefield at 205 Main St., is a fun, one-stop-shop filled with an ever-changing collection of unique gifts and jewelry. This is the perfect place to find something for the difficult to shop for person on your list as there is certainly a gift to match the most specific of tastes and interests. For more information on The Purple Cow, visit thepurplecowco.net or call 401-789-2389.

Jerry’s Hardware

Jerry’s Hardware, located at 116 Point Judith Rd., Narragansett, is a locally owned hardware store where you can find plenty of great gift ideas for the handyman (or woman) in your life. If you are DIY-ing your holiday gifts this year, you will find most everything you need at Jerry’s with the added bonus of kind, informative customer service from their knowledgeable employees. For more information about Jerry’s Hardware, visit them on Facebook or call 401-783-4666.

Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce Online Virtual Auction, Annual Gift Certificate Sale

The Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce is hosting an online virtual auction with over 40 items from local businesses from November 18 to December 2. Benefits from this auction go to help the Chamber in their efforts to support local businesses and the people who run them. Also available are their popular gift certificates. These certificates are available in increments of $10, $25 or $50 and are redeemable at over 220 member locations including retail shops, restaurants and grocery stores. You will receive a list of participating retailers upon purchase of one of these gift certificates.

For a list of businesses to support throughout South County and a map of their locations, visit the NK Chamber of Commerce website at northkingstown.com.

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