SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - Black Friday has come and gone, - and with it the race to the best deal from the big box stores.

Now that the national economy has received that annual shot to the arm, we encourage you to give the same boost to our local economy. Locally-owned small businesses are the backbone of the life we love in Southwest Louisiana.

From artists and craftsmen, to homemade soapmakers and woodworkers, to the small gift shops and retail outlets owned by your neighbors and friends, now is the time to stop in and shop from those entrepreneurs who help shape Southwest Louisiana into the unique place it is. It also keeps all of those dollars right here in our local economy, benefiting us all.

Last Saturday may have been the official "Small Business Saturday," but it shouldn't stop there. This holiday season, consider giving a gift from a locally owned business. Not only are you helping one of your neighbors, you're helping to shape the future of our area by keeping your money right here at home.

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