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Guest Editorial: Shopping small this 2022 holiday season supports Montana's essential businesses

The pandemic confirmed the critical role that small businesses play in our daily lives. It sounds cliché, but locally owned small businesses truly are the heart and soul of our cities and towns. The holiday shopping season is a crucial time for small retailers and restaurants that depend upon the boost in sales earned between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Not so long ago, it was an American tradition to shop and play at the local mall or vibrant small business district downtown. Brick-and-mortar businesses would promote their best deals of the year in hopes of luring shoppers to make a purchase,...