Staff Letter- Amanda Wilson, Editor Staff Letter- Amanda Wilson, Editor

Welcome to our December issue! We have likely found all of you deep in the midst of holiday preparations and celebrations, and this is definitely a time when we are all opening up our wallets and spending a lot of money.  As you find your last minute holiday gifts or prepare for your holiday parties and gatherings, I especially want to encourage everyone to keep their business local as much as possible.  The Internet has made a huge impact on how we shop, and the time we save doing so, but it is also important to be conscious of our impact on the local economy when we purchase items from websites that have no connection to our community.  Along those lines, there are plenty of wonderful local retailers and companies that offer the convenience of online shopping from their websites in addition to their business locations.  At Strictly Business, our main focus is supporting local businesses and the holidays are a major time to do exactly that.  This is also a popular time for charitable giving to nonprofits that do important work in our community, as nonprofits largely depend on end-of-year giving to determine their budget and the possibilities for the next year.  Consider giving to causes that are meaningful to you, and also make sure to do a little bit of research to ensure they are appropriating their funds in a way that allows them to do the most for their cause and the community.  Making a vital contribution to a nonprofit is one of the most profound holiday gifts you can give.  So as many of us are already spending plenty of money this month, why not put it to good use and see benefits in more ways than just our purchases?!  The holidays also signal the official arrival of winter weather, so we have featured several seasonal topics to help keep you safe and active when the elements are at their worst.  May you all have a blessed holiday season filled with plenty of family, friends, love and laughter…and some smooches under the mistletoe!

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