With Labor Day and the Fall Equinox behind us, it’s official: summer is over. From what I have heard from a number of members, the summer of 2016 turned out to be a pretty good one, and I truly hope that is true for your business.

But wait! As of publication, we will still have cruise ships coming to town, so maybe our busy season, at least for our retailers, isn’t over quite yet. Maybe we all need to pretend that it’s still August — and maybe we need to share that thought with our great employees. Seems that our “summer season” gets longer each and every year, and that is a good thing for all of us.

So what do we have to look forward to when the rain comes and the ships leave? That’s really when the work begins for many of us. What needs to be done to “make it through the winter”? Most of you have had to answer this question many times before and somehow you have made it to the next spring, and the process starts all over again. You guys are good — very good. So good, in fact, that you need to share your attitude and talents with our new businesses in town. As we have heard many times before, “we are all in this together,” and the stronger we are as a group the more we will succeed.

One way to ensure that we will all be looking at Spring 2017 together is to continue to build those all-important partnerships, buy from your fellow Chamber members whenever possible and encourage your employees, friends and family to do the same. If we as business folks don’t support each other by “buying local,” we have no right to expect our friends and neighbors to do so.

Why you may ask, is it so important that we, as owners, managers and employees, continue with our “summer attitude” and “summer enthusiasm”? The answer to that question is really pretty simple: As of publication, there are fewer than 90 shopping days until Christmas! Shop local and hire local. It’s just the right thing to do!

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