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Dear Editor:
This time of year evokes the tradition of spreading holiday goodwill and cheer to all. As everyone begins holiday shopping and event planning, I encourage you to shop for gifts and supplies within your own community by supporting the diversity and quality of our state’s locally made and grown products.

When you buy local, you are supporting Ohio businesses and farmers while keeping your hard earned dollars in the community where you live. Every dollar spent on Ohio products reinvests in your local economy and allows local businesses to grow and hire more local residents. 

Buying locally not only ensures that your hometown economy remains strong, but that downtown shopping districts and Main Streets stay vibrant and unique.  In turn, these vendors help shoppers find thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gifts for their family and friends. 

There are many specialty retailers who focus on Ohio made or grown products and gifts. If you are in an area with a limited selection, large retailers carry many of these items as well.  From fresh food, to wine, baked goods, soaps and lotions; you can probably find Ohio products in every aisle of your favorite grocery store.
 
Programs like the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s “Ohio Proud” program are designed to alert consumers to products that are made, grown or processed in Ohio.  Looking for Ohio Proud and other locally made products is a great way to tackle your holiday shopping list while giving back something to your local community.
 
Lori Panda
Ohio Proud Senior Program Manager                    
Reynoldsburg

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