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There is no place like home. Or in this case, there is no better place to shop than close to home. Keeping small businesses in the Commonwealth alive and running has never been safer, easier, or more important. The My Local MA initiative, championed by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, was launched in August in response to the pandemic’s crushing impact on small and local businesses.

According to Massachusetts Retailers Association (MRA) President Jon Hurst, 80% of MRA members have seen a downturn in business in the last year, reflecting general nationwide trends of a COVID-induced recession. And researchers at Opportunity Insights, a think-tank based at Harvard University, found the number of small businesses open in Boston has decreased by 44% since the start of last year. Across the state, the total number of small businesses is 37% lower than it was a year ago; and revenues for businesses that have remained open have gone down by 44%.

Businesses hit hardest by the pandemic include restaurants, leisure and hospitality, and retail. The My Local MA campaign tagline, “Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Right Here in Massachusetts,” represents both the desire and need to support businesses across the state.

There are lots of things that you can do to support your favorite Main Street Mom-and-Pop shop during these challenging times. The My Local MA initiative includes many ways for consumers to get involved.

  • Locate nearby farms and markets, including those that offer delivery, mail order, and curbside pick-up with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources interactive map here: https://massnrc.org/farmlocator/map.aspx

Supporting small businesses helps the community as a whole. According to My Local MA, 99.5% of businesses in Massachusetts are small businesses. These businesses employ 1.5 million people, or nearly 46% of the Commonwealth’s workforce. As we begin to reopen Massachusetts, empower small, local, and minority – owned businesses by remembering to “Eat local. Stay local. Shop local.

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